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What do the fans say?


Celtic go into the cup final as huge favourites, with not many expecting Kenny Shiels men can emerge victorious. What is the feel ing within both supports though? We spoke to Kilmarnock fanatic Craig Anderson who also runs the excellent SPLstats twitter page, and Celtic man Scott Howden.


Are you confident of winning the cup on Sunday? Craig: I can't claim to be supremely confident, given Celtic's recent form, but we have played well against the Old Firm this season and I'm certainly hopeful that we'll give Celtic a game. We led 3-0 against them earlier in the season, so there certainly shouldn't be a fear factor amongst the players. Our recent form has been poor, but that was also the case before our recent trip to Ibrox, and we came away with the win. Scott: We've every right to be confident considering the run we're on, but Kilmarnock will have a go at us that's for sure. So often we've flattered to deceive at Hampden, but ever since the Ross County game it's like we're taking revenge on everyone we meet there, with only Rangers beating us.


If you were manager, who would be your starting XI? Craig: Bell, Fowler, Sissoko, Nelson, Gordon, Buijs, Kelly, Hay, Harkins Shiels, Heffernan. Scott: Forster, Matthews, Mulgrew, Wanyama, Izaguirre, Forrest, Brown, Ledley, Samaras, Hooper, Stokes.


Who is the opposition dangerman you fear? Craig: Where do you start? They obviously have great players right through their team, as you'd expect on their budget. If I have to name one, I think the player I fear most on Sunday is Anthony Stokes. He can flit in and out of games, but he creates opportunities for himself out of nothing which makes him difficult to defend against. Scott: I thought James Dayton was different class in the semi-final with Ayr, he'll have to be watched. When he went off injured David Silva came on and did well too - they've always had skillful wingers at Rugby Park.


Kenny Shiels and Neil Lennon are two of the biggest characters in Scottish football . What's your view of your opponents gaffer? Craig: I'm probably one of few Killie fans who actually has a fair bit of time for Lennon. He was a horrible opponent as a player, but the sort of guy you'd love to have in your own team because he would go to any lengths to win. Based on that, I expected him to be a good manager - in fact I was shot down in flames for suggesting him as a replacement for Jim Jefferies when he was sacked. I lost a bit of respect for him over his comments about referees last season, but he has handled himself well this season and usually very positive about Scottish football, which I like. Scott: He's obviously a winner, which is refreshing. We need more clubs in Scotland who not only want to come and have a go when they play the big teams, but also not accept defeat. I'll take a Kenny Sheils over a Craig Brown or Craig Levein any day.


Prediction? Craig: A narrow 1-0 victory for Killie, with Dean Shiels getting the goal to cement his place in Killie history. Scott: 3-2, because I want it to be a cracker. I hope Kilmarnock come and make a game of it, but we've too much power in our ranks and will win it eventually.


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