HAMPDEN will stage the final of the Little Big Shot Scottish Youth Cup tonight where holders Rangers will meet arch-rivals Celtic.
The Ibrox club defeated Hearts on penalties in a nailbiting final last season at St Mirren Park. This time around, the national stadium is the venue as Rangers try to avenge their Glasgow Cup final defeat by Celtic last month.
That game was played at under-17 level and few of the personnel from the game are expected to feature tonight.
Celtic go in as favourites. They were in sparkling form in the semi-final, disposing of Hibernian 6-0, and have a good record in this competition, lifting the trophy four times in a row between 2010 and 2013. Celtic head coach Stevie Frail is quietly confidence that his team can win but he wants them to also turn in a good performance.
“They’ve put a lot of work in and they know how we like to play, but it is a game against your city rivals and that brings all sorts of different pressures,” Frail told the Celtic website.
“On top of that, it’s a final at the national stadium, so hopefully they’re well-equipped to go out and perform. The result is the most important thing in a final but we want them to go out and perform as well, so we’ll be striving for that tomorrow night.”
Frail singled out Kieran Tierney for praise after the Celtic youth player fought back from a broken leg to make his first start for the first team last Friday against St Johnstone.
“I’m really pleased with him as it was a horrible time just before the New Year when he picked up his leg-break,” Frail said. “To have played as many games as he has for us and to have made his first-team debut is just testament to the work he has put in and the desire and the hunger that the lad has.”
Ian Durrant, the Rangers coach, can point to the success of Andy Murdoch this season who has made the first-team breakthrough and was a cornerstone of the midfield in last night’s play-off first-leg win over Hibs at Ibrox.
Tonight’s match will be shown live on YouTube at www.youtube.com/ScottishCupOfficial