Scottish Cup Final 2018: Celtic v Motherwell Match Preview

The final game of the Scottish football season is upon us as Celtic and Motherwell fans descend on Hampden Park looking to witness history.

Celtic are looking to win their 38th Scottish Cup and with it an historic double treble, while Motherwell are looking to seal their first Scottish Cup in 27 years and emulate the Motherwell legends of 1991.

Today's Cup Final is a re-run of the League Cup Final earlier this season, which Celtic won 2-0 thanks to goals from Moussa Dembele and James Forrest.

Celtic go into the game off the back of lifting their seventh Scottish Premiership title in a row, while Motherwell are looking to finish their season on a high after finishing seventh in the league.

Tonight a new set of players will be written into Scottish Cup folklore and destined to be immortalised by the fans that will witness history either way today.

Two teams.

One winner.

The @WilliamHill#ScottishCupFinal is almost here. pic.twitter.com/cVuJKp90Gw

— William Hill Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) 18 May 2018

Road to the final

Celtic kicked off their Scottish Cup campaign this season with a 5-0 demolition of Brechin City at Celtic Park, before James Forrest led Celtic past Partick Thistle scoring a hat-trick as they won 3-2.

A place in the semi finals was sealed when they beat Jim Duffy's Morton side 3-0, setting up a clash with rivals Rangers.

While many predicted a tough and close affair against Rangers, Celtic humiliated Graeme Murty's side firing four goals past the Ibrox side with no reply, silencing those who cheered getting Brendan Rodgers' side in the draw.

Motherwell, meanwhile, started their campaign with a 2-0 win over Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton Accies. They then travelled to Dundee winning 2-0 once again, before a semi final place was booked when they beat Hearts 2-1 at Fir Park.

The semi final saw Motherwell comprehensively beat last year's defeated finalists Aberdeen 3-0 in what was very much a one sided affair for Stephen Robinson's side.

Both sides will face a much sterner test in today's final from their opponents than they did in their respective semi final ties and it should be a cracker of a contest.

Scottish Cup 2018 re-run - Celtic 2-1 Aberdeen

Scottish Cup 2018 re-run - Motherwell 4-3 Dundee United

Head to Head

Celtic have not lost a Scottish Cup Final since 2002, while Motherwell last lost in 2011. Both clubs have faced one another in the League Cup over the past two seasons - including this year's League Cup Final, which Celtic won 2-0.

The last time that Celtic and Motherwell faced one another in the Scottish Cup, was the final in 2011 which Celtic won 3-0 - with goals coming from Ki-Sung Yueng, Charlie Mulgrew and an own goal from Stephen Craigan.

Motherwell last beat Celtic in 2015, winning 2-1 in the league at Celtic with Louis Moult scoring both Well goals and their last cup win over Celtic was in 1994 when the Fir Park side won 1-0.

In their Cup winning season of 1991, Motherwell beat Celtic 4-2 on the road to Hampden.

Team News

Motherwell will be without on loan striker Nadir Ciftci as he is ineligible to play against his parent club, however Curtis Main will take his place upfront and will be looking to add to the two goals he scored in the semi final win against Aberdeen - after being given a rest last weekend.

Well skipper Carl McHugh will return to the team after missing the semi final through suspension.

Celtic could welcome back keeper Craig Gordon from injury, while striker Odsonne Edouard is facing a race to be fit for the game. Leigh Griffith, who came off the bench last weekend, should be available for selection.

What are the odds?

Scottish league sponsors Ladbrokes are understandably showing Motherwell as the underdogs in this tie with 10/1 odds of the Fir Park side winning the cup, while Celtic are 1/4 on to win it in 90 minutes. A draw is sitting at 19/4.

If Celtic turn up and play like they did for most of last season, they could notch up a nice wee scoreline for their fans to celebrate and Ladbrokes are giving odds of 4/1 for Brendan Rodgers' side to win and score 5 or more goals in the match.

Celtic are 11/1 to match their semi final score and beat Motherwell 3-0, while the 'Well are 200/1 to match their Aberdeen semi final score.

Having recently signed a new five year deal with Celtic, Aussie Tom Rogic is 11/2 to be the first goalscorer, while Motherwell's talisman Curtis Main is 8/1 to be the first scorer.

Prediction

It will be a tough tight affair at Hampden Park, with three quarters of the stadium filled to the rafters with Celtic fans cheering on what they envisage is a historic double treble. As for Motherwell they will be looking to emulate their heroes of 1991 and follow in the footsteps of the likes of Phil O'Donnell and Davie Cooper.

Motherwell have not beaten Celtic in the past ten games and I cannot see them breaking that hoodoo now, despite being on the cusp of history. Celtic to win 3-1.