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Arch-rivals Celtic and Rangers will clash in the semifinals of the Scottish Cup at the Hampden Park this Sunday.
Celtic, the current holders of the trophy, will be keen on progressing to the finals to stand a chance of completing a historic consecutive domestic treble – they already have bagged the Scottish League Cup and are on the verge of being crowned as champions in the Premiership.
Graeme Murty’s Rangers will be scheming to stop the Hoops from achieving that as they look to announce themselves as a serious threat to Brendan Rodgers’ side in the coming seasons.
Ahead of Sunday’s big game, we pick a combined XI featuring players from both sides, based on form and fitness (suspended and injured players not considered).
The on-loan Dundee FC keeper has stepped up nicely for Celtic in the absence of Craig Gordon and Dorus de Vries in recent weeks and as a result, gets the nod for this combined XI.
Despite a slight dip in form recently, the Englishman has been one of Rangers’ best players this season. Solid defensively and a positive influence at right-back, Tavernier makes the cut ahead of Celtic’s Mikael Lustig.
Since arriving at the Ibrox from Norwich City on loan in January, the Scotland international has established himself as a mainstay in the backline. Steady, experienced, Martin has chipped in with a couple of goals as well. With Dedryck Boyata and Jozo Simunovic both struggling for form and fitness at Celtic, the 32-year old makes it to this line-up.
The Norwegian youngster has been one of the biggest success stories for Celtic in the ongoing season. Ajer has seamlessly slotted in the backline for the Hoops and has easily been their best centre-back in recent months. Composed, mature and confident, the 19-year old is an easy pick.
A tough one at left-back given both Kieran Tierney of Celtic and Declan John of Rangers have been brilliant throughout the campaign. However, the balance tilts in the favour of the Hoops youngster owing to his stronger defensive nous that makes him a tad more reliable at the back.
Celtic winger James Forrest has hit a rough patch after a staggering start to the season. The 26-year-old has 16 goals to his name this term but he has failed to find the back of the net since December last year in the Premiership and since February in all competitions.
On the other hand, Rangers’ Daniel Candeias has scored twice in his last four appearances along with an assist, which earns him a spot on this team.
The Celtic captain may be getting older but his presence and performances in the middle of the park still remain a key part of how his team operates. Consistent and reliable, the former Scottish international gets the nod ahead of Gers duo, Greg Docherty and Sean Goss, who have faded away after strong starts to their life at Ibrox.
The 26-year-old has had an indifferent campaign riddled with injuries but has slowly been getting back to his best in recent weeks and his performance against Ross County a fortnight ago displayed what he can do at his best.
The boyhood Rangers fan has been in unstoppable form since earning his dream move in the January window. Five goals and seven assists in 13 appearances across competitions mean that Murphy is the obvious choice ahead of Bhoys attacker Scott Sinclair, who has faded in recent months.
After a rather slow start to the season due to injuries, the 21-year-old French striker has been making up for lost time in recent weeks and has taken his tally to 14 goals and 8 assists for the season.
Gers’ leading goalscorer for the season with 18 goals and 7 assists to his name, Alfredo Morelos joins forces with Dembele at the top of the attack in this line-up.