First ever Glasgow Derby Scottish Cup Final is the perfect season finale

Celtic defeated Aberdeen in a penalty shoot-out at Hampden Park on Saturday afternoon after the first Scottish Cup final ended in a 3-3 draw after extra-time.

It was certainly one of the all-time classic cup ties ever played in the national stadium and the tough fought, but ultimately well deserved victory sets Celtic up with a season finale, the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday 25th May.

Hearts were beaten rather easily in the second Scottish Cup semi-final by theRangers, and that 2-0 result would have surprised no-one in Scottish football because this was the fifth defeat from five for Steven Naismith’s side against the latest Ibrox club this season.

Cyriel Dessers of theRangers applauds the fans after the Scottish Cup Semi Final win over Hearts at Hampden on April 21, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

So it will be a Glasgow Derby Scottish Cup final for the first time ever and the game will benefit from having both sets of supporters in attendance in roughly equal numbers inside the national stadium.

The two Manchester sides meet on the same day at Wembley in the FA Cup Final but that will be small-fry compared to what’s going to go down in Glasgow where the prize on offer is akin to winning the jackpot over at but who will have the winning chip in a game where the winner takes all?

Before that though there is the not insignificant matter of the destination of the Scottish Premiership title and both Glasgow sides know that the title is still in their own hands, although the task is certainly harder for Philippe Clement’s theRangers side after dropping seven points in their last three games.

That means that going into the post split final five fixtures, theRangers trail Celtic by three points and have a negative goal difference of five on the current Champions.

Josh Sims of Ross County celebrates with team mates Jack Baldwin and Simon Murray of Ross County after scoring to give Ross County a 3-1 lead. Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

If experience counts of anything then that favours Celtic too. The Hoops have won eleven of the last twelve Scottish Premiership titles, failing just the once during the Covid season when the supporters were not allowed to attend games and theRangers under Steven Gerrard one the one and only Scottish Premiership title in the club’s history.

Brendan Rodgers knows that if they win the four remaining fixtures outside the Glasgow Derby at Celtic Park they will be Champions. But with an away fan ban instigated by theRangers, Celtic Park will have 60,OOO Celtic Supporters at the game and theRangers will have none at all. Add to that theRangers dreadful record at Parkhead and the task is daunting for the Ibrox club.

Another advantage for Celtic is that they have three home fixtures, against Hearts, theRangers and St Mirren and only two away against Dundee (this Sunday) and Kilmarnock, whereas theRangers have just two games at Ibrox and have to play St Mirren, Celtic and Hearts away with home matches against Kilmarnock and Dundee.

It’s tempting to think that both sides will win the other games, with theRangers looking to narrow the goal difference especially in their two home games. Indeed if theRangers win at Celtic Park goal difference thereon in is likely to be the deciding factor. So shooting boots at the ready. As mentioned above Celtic have five of a start.

But it’s worth noting that both sides have continually dropped points when least expected against sides that normally would rarely get much joy playing at Celtic Park or Ibrox. So anything could happen.

The head-to-head record is certainly in Celtic’s favour having won twice and drawn the other of the three Glasgow Derby games played this season, and two of these have been at Ibrox.

Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic scores the winner during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between theRangers and Celtic at Ibrox on September 03, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic’s certainly in the driving seat and the title is theirs to lose. Brendan Rodgers will be looking for a strong showing against Dundee on Sunday, who will be looking to take something from the Champions after their well deserved 0-0 draw with theRangers last midweek.

Meanwhile theRangers need to get back to winning ways away to St Mirren, and their little stadium just a stone’s throw from Glasgow Airport, is never an easy place for the Glasgow sides to visit.

We’ll know who ends up as Champions a week or so before the Scottish Cup Final and if it’s Celtic then the Bhoys will be looking to win yet another Scottish Cup to complete a double.

If it’s theRangers then they’ll be looking at sweeping Celtic aside to secure the treble and in doing so stripping out the three trophies Celtic won last season and taking them all to Ibrox. For the Celtic support that is unthinkable.

The stakes will be enormous and that’s why the events at Wembley on this same day will pale into insignificance when you think about the drama, joy and heartbreak that is certain to be dished out in Glasgow.

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