Scottish Cup final preview

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Hearts and Rangers will face off at Hampden Park in this seasons Scottish Cup final.

This game comes immediately after Rangers loss in the Europa League final. The light blues lost with a penalty shootout after playing 120 minutes in Spain. They will be looking to move on from this and claim their last chance at silverware for this season.

Hearts have not played for a week since they lost at Tynecastle to Rangers. The final score was 3-1 with Rangers resting the majority of their starting eleven with Europe in mind.

The difference between these teams in the league is one place with Rangers finishing 2nd and Hearts 3rd. However, the gap in points between the two teams is 28.

Rangers route to the final saw them beat Stirling Albion, Annan Athletic, Dundee and Celtic. Whereas Hearts route saw Auchinleck Talbot, Livingston, St Mirren and Hibernian.

This game holds no extra value from a European standpoint. Both of these teams are guaranteed European group stage football for next season, this is thanks to their final league positions.

Rangers will compete in Champions League qualifiers with the possibility of dropping down into Europa League and Hearts will compete in Europa League qualifiers and a Conference League spot if they fail to come through.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MARCH 10: Players of Rangers pose for a team photo prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Leg One match between Rangers FC and Crvena Zvezda at Ibrox Stadium on March 10, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images )

Speaking on the impact that extra time had on his squad Giovanni Van Bronckhorst said: “We had a tough game with 120 minutes in difficult heat, but we had a good recovery.

“All our focus in on the final and we have to support each other as a family to be ready for the final. We didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but I have a lot of confidence in my team.”

The Rangers squad will be without the services of Barisic, having picked up an injury in Spain. They will also be without Morelos, Helander and Hagi all out with long term injuries and it is in doubt whether Kemar Roofe will be ready for this game, having only played a short number of minutes since his return.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson spoke on the fitness of his squad saying: “I’ve got a rough idea what my team will be. You obviously want your full squad to be fully fit and having played five or ten games to be ready for it. We don’t have that.”

The Hearts squad has picked up a few knocks over the last few weeks with Haring, Boyce and Simms all pushing to make this game. They will hope that defenders Souttar and Halkett are available having returned from injury over the last few weeks.

Speaking on team selection Giovanni said: “Jon did really well in all the games we played, especially in the semi-final against Celtic, so for me it would be strange to change him. He will still have the confidence from me.”

Neilson shared his thoughts also saying: “It’s a case of deciding who’s in form, who’s coming back and is fit enough to play, whether they start or come on, so there are a lot of different aspects to look at.”

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