Saturday, May 15, 2010

Scottish Cup Final Preview

Time to look ahead to the game.

Dundee United or Ross County. Ninety minutes from destiny.

County will have a lot of support, including what seems to be an extraordinary exodus from the Highlands, as the underdogs.

Others will just be delighted that a different name will be on the cup by the end of the day. On BBC Radio Five this morning an interviewer asked Peter Houston if people were a bit fed up of the Old Firm dominance.

You could say.

As a neutral (I'm a sucker for romance but there's cockle warming tales aplenty from both sides) I'm hoping for that old cliche - a darn good game.

At the moment I'm backing United to sneak it. But not by much.

We know by now the qualities of this United team. And in finishing third with relative ease in the SPL they have shown their spirit and determination. I can't see this United freezing today.

But County too have shown their guile. Don't expect them to get stage fright. The Celtic game (for which, even now, I feel they have not been given enough credit) was proof of their appetite for the big games.

Good managers involved too. Derek Adams has managed above accusations of nepotism and is now mentioned as one of the bright young things in Scotland.

Peter Houston has stepped out of Craig Levein's shadow (tittle-tattle apart) to take this team further than Levein himself ever managed.

So the stage is set for a enthralling match. And, yes, it looks like being much better than the FA Cup showdown at Wembley on their crappy pitch. Ha!

My prediction remains United for glory. But I think, and hope, it will be close. Maybe the odd goal, maybe extra time. Maybe even a spot of penalties.

That would be fitting on the 20th anniversary of this: