Preview of 2016-17 Scottish Cup Semi-finals
Celtic provided little opportunities for teams to make their presence felt in the Scottish Premier League this season. However, the Scottish Cup provides a different entity with four teams fighting for a title. Aberdeen, Celtic, Rangers, and Hibernian are the four teams involved in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.
Hibernian vs Aberdeen
Hibernian are the only Championship team left in the semi-finals of the 2016-17 competition. As a result, they come into the semi-finals as the underdogs. Hibernian’s major advantage in this tie happens to be the home support. Playing at Hampden Park provides the team with a huge advantage, as they were unbeaten in the last 14 home games across all competitions.
Aberdeen had a strong end to the 1st phase of the Premier League as they quickly overcame a 3-0 loss against Rangers. Towards the end of the season, Aberdeen have shown more than enough promise to be considered as potential challengers for the trophy itself. The club, though, have suffered two defeats in the last six away matches across all competitions.
Aberdeen travel to Glasgow for their semi-final within Scottish Cup against Hibernian, hoping to build on their 1-2 win over Saint Johnstone and win a spot in the final. The Dons have actually been consistent as of late and won six times in their last 7 fixtures, suffering just 1 loss (0-3 to the other semi-finalists, Rangers) throughout the campaign. The Dons have been consistent but Hibs can be unpredictable.
Hibernian top the Championship table 11 points clear of the second-placed Falkirk, yet they have only two victories in their last six outings. It is questionable whether their inconsistency will have a higher price to be paid.
Celtic vs Rangers
The standout tie in the semi-finals of the 2016-17 Scottish Cup, Celtic hope to make it a cup double with the Scottish Cup title. Rangers, though, will be looking to make amendments for the disappointing league campaign. Since the arrival of Pedro Caixinha, Rangers have shown plenty of improvement. The team were unbeaten in the last eight matches of all competitions. The team will take a lot of confidence from the 1-1 draw with Celtic a few weeks ago.
Celtic have dropped in the performance since winning the league title in record fashion. While the team are set to finish the Premier League campaign unbeaten, they have managed just three wins in the last six matches of all competitions. Brendan Rodgers, though, may motivate his players to wake up for this crucial game.
Latest News: Scott Brown Free to Play Rangers in Scottish Cup semi-final
Scott Brown can now play against Rangers in Sunday semi-final of the Scottish Cup due to the Easter Bank holiday. The Celtic captain faced a two-match ban effective immediately after the match against Ross County. The thing is, Hampden offices were shut for this Bank Holiday and SFA's fast track process has been delayed.
Brown's case will not be heard by the judicial panel until the next Thursday - April 27. As a result, Brown is free to play in the Old Firm crunch.
Rangers Should Focus on Reaching the Final
Ending Celtic's unbeaten domestic record should not be the main focus of Rangers on Sunday. Peter Lovenkrands believes reaching the final in May should be the main motivation for the Ibrox players, not beating Celtic and stopping their record. While it's true that Celtic have won the league comfortably and deserved it, Rangers have improved their game in the past few weeks and could pull this off.
The clashes taking place this weekend are definitely going to impress everyone and all eyes are on the Celtic vs Rangers tie. The two historical rivals are clashing right before the final and this will most probably lead to a spectacular game.