Celtic vs. Aberdeen
Betfred League Cup Final
Sunday 27th November
BT Sports 1
On Sunday, Celtic have the opportunity to win their first domestic trophy of the 2016/17 season when they face Aberdeen in the final of the Betfred Cup (the League Cup to you and me).
Brendan's Rodgers will be eager to win his first piece of silverware at Celtic - at the first time of asking no less. While he may be hesitant to speak it about it openly, Rodgers will surely be hoping that a win on Sunday could be the beginning of a push for a historic treble.
Meanwhile, Derek McInnes, who won the trophy with Aberdeen back in the 2013/14 season, will be hoping that he can repeat that achievement come Sunday. That was Aberdeen's first trophy in 19 years, and McInnes will surely be eager to ensure that the wait for their next silverware isn't that long.
The League Cup has historically been the one domestic competition that Celtic Has struggled in. Despite reaching thirty League Cup finals, they've only managed to win fifteen. However Brendan Rodger's will surely be confident that he can make sixteen on Sunday.
When Celtic last played Aberdeen in October, it was a fairly tight affair with only the one goal in it. Whilst I'm sure everyone would be happy with a win, regardless of the margin of victory, a slightly more comfortable result certainly wouldn't go amiss.
So what players can we expect to see come kickoff time on Sunday?
Well one player who will sadly be missing from Sunday's match is Scott Sinclair - who suffered a hamstring injury against Barcelona on Wednesday. While the manager has said that they'll continue to assess Sinclair, given the nature of his injury, it's extremely unlikely that he'll play any role tomorrow. As such, the manager will have to decide who will step in to replace him. James Forrest was the man on Wednesday, and in all likelihood, will be again on Sunday.
Sinclair has been a key player since signing in the Summer, but he'll miss tomorrow's final through injury
The other player who is something of a doubt for Sunday's final is Jozo Simunovic. Brendan Rodgers has largely avoided playing the Croat in consecutive games so far, but has expressed a desire to do so in the near future. Whether this will be on Sunday or not, is currently the subject of much speculation. Should the manager however decide to rest Simuovic, Kolo Toure may be in for a return to the starting lineup.
The manager will also have to make a decision regarding who starts up front. Moussa Dembele is very much the man of the moment, but everyone knows that Leigh Griffiths is very much a capable player on his own right. However seeing as Dembele had to play the full ninety minutes on Wednesday due to Griffiths' absence, the manager may decide to start with the latter, arguably fresher, player tomorrow and save Dembele for later in the match.
With Celtic missing a few key players, Aberdeen will be slightly more optimistic about their chances heading in to this match. However, while Hampden has been something of a bogey ground for Celtic in the past, they may take solace in the fact that that Aberdeen are on a mixed run of form heading in to this match. The Pittodrie club have won their two most recent games, but lost the two before that (with Celtic dealing out one of those).
Could Adam Rooney be the man to lead Aberdeen to victory on Sunday?
If Celtic have hopes of clinching the trophy, they'll need to keep and eye on Aberdeen's two main attacking threats - Adam Rooney & Niall McGinn. Rooney is currently the Dons top goal scorer with nine goals so far this season, whilst the former Celtic player McGinn has chipped in with five goals of his own.
Other players to look out for include Kenny McLean, who scored a double in their 3-1 win over Inverness last week, and Johnny Hayes - who has proven himself as a thorn in Celtic's side in the past.