Viaplay Cup Final: Celtic preview

By Liam Murphy

Another cup another final for the two big boys of Scottish football and for Celtic and Ange Postecoglou, it’s a chance to win back-to-back league cups on their hunt for another trophy-filled season with the Hoops currently sitting 9 points above bitter rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.

The future of Postecoglou has been a topic of discussion as of recent, especially when the Leeds United job became available. With the position however looking like it has been filled by former Watford boss Javi Gracia, it looks certain that the Aussie will stay until the end of the season at least, with now full attention of the remainder of the domestic season.

Javi Gracia looks set to become the new Head Coach of Leeds after the sacking of Jesse Marsch

Rangers may have renewed confidence under Michael Beale, but the Ange train shows no signs of slowing down. Quality and balance all over the pitch is something engrained into the style of the Australian coach, but the team’s constant high pressure and high-octane football makes them a tough ask for every opponent.

Fresh off a 4-0 win over struggling Aberdeen, Celtic go into this final knowing they haven’t   lost game domestically since their visit of St Mirren since the 18th of September 2022.

Celtic at present have a fully fit squad available and also no suspensions, giving Ange, albeit a positive one, a selection headache ahead of the final on Sunday afternoon, with decisions to be made all over the pitch.

There are some key players to look out for ahead of this game, Kyogo Furuhashi will look to continue his rich vein of form, with 22 goals scored in all competitions this season, he is the man in form who will look to drive Celtic towards victory. he is the club’s top scorer this season and will be a constant threat to the Rangers defence as he plays across the whole frontline.

Another player who could be key is Reo Hatate. the Japanese Midfielder is a tireless box-to-box player who is capable of controlling the play when he’s on the ball. He not only offers good defensive cover, but also a goal threat, with 8 goals and 8 assists in all competitions this season.

Centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers, alongside Kyogo, has stood out as one of the best players in the Scottish domestic season. He will look to control the backline as the threat Rangers pose will be of concern, especially with the current form of the Gers and the ever-present forward threat of Fashion Sakala, Malik Tillman and of course, Alfredo Morelos. The American defender knows the task he faces and will relish the challenge.

Form goes out the window for an Old Firm, especially in a cup final, it will be a tightly-contested game between two sides full of confidence, Celtic would consider themselves favourites with their current league position. The last old firm ended in a 2-2 draw at Ibrox, an affair that was competed between two sides who play with high intensity and looking to exploit the wide areas.

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