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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Celtic should make history with convincing cup final victory over Motherwell

Rogic ready to play starring role

Celtic are looking to add the William Hill Scottish Cup to their trophy collection
1 of 1

William Hill Scottish Cup final
Sky Sports Football & BBC1 Scotland, 3pm Saturday

Celtic are set to make history in the William Hill Scottish Cup final by claiming Scotland's first double treble.

Brendan Rodgers' side face Motherwell in a repeat of this season's Betfred Cup final, which Celtic won 2-0. Last season, they also beat the same team, Aberdeen, in both finals.

The champions have gone off the boil since dismantling Rangers last month and they lost their first domestic home league match under Rodgers last weekend to the Dons.

But don't read too much into that - they have understandably taken their foot off the gas with their seventh consecutive title easily secured.

The key point is that Celtic and Rodgers seem to rise to the occasion whenever a domestic challenge is put in their way.

Celtic have not been found wanting in any final. They have swept away any kind of challenge from Rangers too and it seems their only real enemy could be complacency.

Motherwell will relish a tear-up. They've made little secret that physicality is the way they will hope to get one over on Celtic.

Stephen Robinson's men will put in a big shift and Curtis Main and Cedric Kipre, who has already been sent off twice against Celtic this season, will try to fruistrate Celtic and get under their skin.

They will take heart from their impressive 3-0 semi-final annihilation of Aberdeen at the same venue and this will be the fifth time they have played at Hampden this term.

It's far from impossible they could score too, but keeping out a hungry Celtic team going for their slice of history could be a challenge too far and is why they are double-figure prices to win it.

Celtic could turn on the style if they take command and they have plenty of attacking firepower.

Of those who can make a difference for Celtic, look for classy Australian international Tom Rogic to make his mark.

The midfielder relishes the big occasion. He netted the winner in last year's cup final and has scored in four Old Firm games this season.

Rogic is suited to the big occasion and, while he rarely lasts 90 minutes, he has enough quality to unlock the Well defence and celebrate the new contract he signed this week.

Celtic believe they can unlock Well's back three with pace and quality and Rodgers and his Hoops should make history.

Celtic to win & over 2.5 goals
2pts 5-6 Betway
Over 3.5 Celtic goals
1pt 29-10 Coral
T Rogic to score at any time
1pt 21-10 Betfair, Paddy Power

Ladbrokes Premiership standings

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Team news
The Bhoys are missing Jonny Hayes and Nir Bitton.

Well have doubts over Andy Rose and Peter Hartley.

Key stat
Motherwell have won just once in the last 19 meetings between the sides.

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Celtic and Rodgers seem to rise to the occasion whenever a challenge is put their way in Scotland
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