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CUP SEMI-FINALS: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

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GLASGOW will take on Edinburgh for the firt time ever in the Betfred League Cup semi-finals when holders Celtic face Hibs at Hampden this evening and Rangers take on Hearts tomorrow afternoon.

The four clubs have a remarkable 133 last-four appearances among them, but this is the first time all four have reached this stage in the same season. With 52 League Cups shared among them, these are four of the five most successful clubs in the competition’s history – Aberdeen are the other.

* CELTIC are attempting to win the Betfred Cup for the fourth consecutive year as they aim to continue their monopoly of the domestic trophies. They would be the first side to reach four straight Finals since Rangers from 2007/08 to 2010/11. The Hoops have now recorded 29 consecutive wins in domestic Cup competitions – their last defeat was the 2016 Scottish Cup semi-final loss to Rangers on penalty-kicks after a 2-2 draw following extra-time.

* IN the past three years, the Hoops have claimed the trophy with wins over Aberdeen (3-0 and 1-0) and Motherwell (2-0).

* HIBS are aiming to win the trophy for the first time in 12 years when they defeated Kilmarnock 5-1. They have only reached the Final once since then – in 2015/16, when they lost 2-1 to Ross County.

* THIS is just the third time the Easter Road outfit have faced Celtic in the League Cup semi-final – they lost after a replay in 1965/66 and also suffered defeat more recently, losing 4-2 in 2017/18.

* HEARTS have won the trophy on four previous occasions, but all four of those came in the 1950s and 1960s. The Tynecastle side last sampled success in the competition 57 years ago, beating Kilmarnock 1-0 in the 1962/63 Final. They reached this stage last season, but were knocked out by Celtic at Murrayfield – their last Final appearance was back in 2012/13 when they were beaten by St Mirren.

* RANGERS are aiming to reach the Final for the first time in nine years since winning the trophy in 2010/11. The Gers have lost in the semi-final in four of the last five seasons, including a defeat to Aberdeen at this stage last year. They have won all eight of their previous semi-final meetings with Hearts across both Cup competitions.

* THE Ibrox side’s only loss in 18 matches against the Edinburgh outfit at a neutral venue came in the 1998 Scottish Cup Final at Parkhead.

 

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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