Karamoko Dembele could play in Hampden final as Celtic teens take on Rangers

Karamoko Dembele in action for Celtic reserves. Picture: SNS
Karamoko Dembele in action for Celtic reserves. Picture: SNS
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The under-18 teams of Celtic and Rangers will face off against each other in the Scottish Youth Cup final tonight in front of a 1,500 all-ticket crowd at Hampden. A reduced capacity is in place after crowd disturbances between the clubs in the final of the under-17 Glasgow Cup in 2013 and 2014.

The match, which is live on BBC Scotland, is a repeat of the 2017 final which Celtic won 3-0. The age group has dropped two years since that game, with last season’s 
winners Hibs the last at under-20 level.

Celtic, who could include exciting prospect Karamoko Dembele in their ranks, reached the final after seeing off Inverness Caledonian Thistle on penalties and then securing wins over Dundee and Queen’s Park. Former Scotland defender Stephen McManus is in charge of the Celtic team and said: “The habits these players pick up just now will stand them in good stead throughout their career. Playing in games like this can show the players what good habits can bring.”

The Ibrox youngsters, who beat East Kilbride and Morton before coming from behind to defeat Aberdeen to secure their place in the final, will be also be coached by an experienced former player in Kevin Thomson.

The former Hibs, Rangers, Middlesbrough and Scotland midfielder works alongside David McCallum and he said: “There is always excitement when games between Rangers and Celtic come around. There will be plenty talent on show.

“The players are judged every day because of who they are playing with but in big games like this one they can make a name for themselves.”