Falkirk vs Celtic – Match preview and prediction

The second finalist in the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden Park will be decided this afternoon as Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic take on underdogs Falkirk.

Falkirk boss Steven Pressley spent two years at Parkhead and is looking to overcome his former side to set up a final meeting with Kilmarnock. Moroccan striker Farid El Alagui suffered muscle tightness during last weekend’s First Division game against Raith Rovers, but will take his place in the Falkirk side. Pressley insists his side are ‘raring to go’ against the SPL leaders and is hopeful of causing an upset against Celtic. Falkirk won on penalties in the quarter final against Dundee United and in the previous round, knocked out SPL champions Rangers. Pressley does not want his side’s giant-killing journey to end against Celtic and is hoping to reach the Scottish League Cup final, like he has done three times in his career with Rangers and Dundee United.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon saw Rangers close the gap at the top of the table to a point yesterday, but is looking to keep his side focused on a difficult encounter with Falkirk. In 2010, Ross County upset Celtic with a 2-0 win at this stage of the tournament and Hoops boss Neil Lennon has warned his side against complacency. Daniel Majstorovic is back in the squad after recovering from a fractured cheekbone and should start against Falkirk. The SPL leaders have made moves in the transfer market, but their Nigerian midfield signing Rabiu Ibrahim will not play due to international clearance difficulties. Mo Bangura will visit a specialist next week to see if he requires surgery on a knee worry and Lennon says that he will tweak the squad, but has a strong enough side to secure victory.

All eyes are on Celtic to see if they can complete a clean sweep of all three domestic trophies. Lennon has played down such talk after the last side to do so was Martin O’Neill’s Celtic in 2001, which cost ‘a lot of money’, says the current Celtic boss. Falkirk will fancy their chances, especially with the goalscoring threat of El Alagui, but Celtic should get the job done and face Kilmarnock in the final, who dispatched Ayr United 1-0 in extra time.

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