Four talking points ahead of the Scottish Cup final

Celtic and Aberdeen face each other in the William Hill Scottish Cup final on Saturday.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is looking to get his hands on the Scottish Cup. Picture: SNS

Here, Gavin McCafferty looks at the main talking points ahead of the Hampden showpiece.

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Celtic are going for the fourth treble in their history and an unprecedented unbeaten domestic campaign. Brendan Rodgers would follow Jock Stein and Martin O’Neill to become the third manager to complete the clean sweep of league title, League Cup and Scottish Cup, with the most recent achievement coming in the 2000-01 season, which was O’Neill’s debut campaign. Aberdeen have finished runners-up to Celtic twice already this season but they have form for stopping trebles - they denied Stein a third in four years in the 1970 cup final.


Aberdeen midfielder Ryan Jack spoke after the semi-final about how he dreamed of following the likes of Willie Miller and Alex McLeish in going up to lift the Scottish Cup for his home town club. But he will definitely not get that chance after Graeme Shinnie was handed the armband amid persistent reports that Jack has lined up a move to Rangers. The 25-year-old has told Aberdeen he is moving on, but manager Derek McInnes does not believe a deal has been done with Rangers and has no doubts about his player’s commitment. Many eyes will be on Jack if the midfielder is selected, after making a comeback from a groin injury off the bench against Partick Thistle last weekend.

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Celtic's Moussa Dembele fit to play in Scottish Cup final


Moussa Dembele has been passed fit to start for Celtic after training all week following his recovery from the hamstring injury that forced him out in the first half of the semi-final win over Rangers. But Leigh Griffiths has scored four times in the intervening five games to take his tally for the season to 18, despite playing second fiddle to Dembele for much of the campaign. The Frenchman’s 32nd and most recent goal came in the quarter-final win over St Mirren on March 5. It’s a pretty welcome selection dilemma for a manager.


The Aberdeen boss has been linked with the vacant managerial position at Sunderland, not surprisingly given Walter Smith is advising Black Cats chief executive Martin Bain. The former Rangers manager publicly backed his former player for the Ibrox role in March. The 45-year-old former Bristol City boss has spoken of his desire to return to England at some stage but first wants to create a legacy of silverware at Pittodrie. A second trophy to follow the 2014 League Cup success could give him the confidence to move this summer if the question is put to him.