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Dundee United v Celtic: Scottish League Cup final match preview

Dundee United meet Celtic at Hampden Park in the Scottish League Cup final.

To be played on Sunday 15th March at 15:00. Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow.

Odds: Dundee United 13/2, Draw 7/2, Celtic 4/9

Dundee United meet Celtic for the second of four matches between the sides in the Scottish League Cup final on Sunday.

The League Cup could be Celtic’s first trophy on the way to a domestic treble this season, and would be Ronny Deila’s first since joining the Bhoys if he can add to the previous 14 triumphs of the club.

The game comes a week after a heated first meeting between the two, with three red cards and two penalties in the 1-1 Scottish Cup draw. Virgil van Djik and Paul Paton have both had their red cards rescinded from that game and are available for the Hampden Park final, but Nadir Ciftci misses out after picking up two bookings in the competition.

One highlight of the game that was heavily disrupted was the performance of Radoslaw Cierzniak. The Terrors stopper was a standout performer and could be required to put in a similar display against the Celtic frontline if they have any chance of winning the first offerings of domestic silverware this season.

The final should be a different type of game to the one Tannadice presented, with a newly laid pitch at Hampden Park giving both teams the opportunity to play a passing game on a flat surface, much the opposite to Sunday’s divot-ridden offering in Dundee.

Deila’s main injury concern is Nir Biton, who could miss the game with an ankle injury that the Israeli midfielder picked up during the Scottish Cup clash.

Celtic captain Scott Brown’s recent night out in Edinburgh could cost him his place in the starting line-up in what would be a massive show of force from Deila should he decide to omit his influential captain.

Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong are both cup tied whilst Deila will have to decide if Anthony Stokes starts despite his disappointing performance in last Sunday’s game.

The Celtic manager could bring John Guidetti into the side and push Leigh Griffiths out wide, but there is also the option to give one of Liam Henderson or Callum McGregor a chance.

Jackie McNamara's biggest decision will be to decide who will replace Ciftci, with Henri Anier and Mario Bilate the likely candidates.

Predicted Dundee United line-up

Cierzniak, McGowan, Dillon, Fojut, Dixon, Paton, Butcher, Rankin, Dow, Connolly, Bilate

Predicted Celtic line-up

Gordon, Ambrose, Denayer, van Dijk, Izaguirre, Brown, Johansen, Johansen, Forrest, Griffiths, Guidetti

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