St. Johnstone and Dundee United will close out the Scottish football season when they meet in the 2014 Tennents Scottish Cup final on Saturday, at the historic Celtic Park in Glasgow.
Dundee United last won the world's oldest national cup competition in 2010, while their opponents will be participating in their very first final in club history.
Both clubs enjoyed solid seasons in the left half of the Scottish Premiership standings but saw their league campaigns come undone late, as the Tangerines only won a single of their final five matches and the Super Js went winless in their last four.
A cup win would completely turn around the season for either club, and Saturday's final will be a hard-fought battle between very evenly matched squads.
Date: Saturday, May 17
Time: 3 p.m. BST, 10 a.m. ET
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow
Dundee United have the historical advantage going into Saturday's final, but St. Johnstone have beaten the Tangerines in three straight matches, including a 2-0 win just last month.
According to the BBC, the Super Js will be without defender Tim Clancy, who injured his Achilles during a training session in midweek. Tam Scobbie and Murray Davidson had previously already been ruled out with long-term injuries.
Manager Tommy Wright confirmed Clancy would have made his selection of 18 player had it not been for the injury:
Unfortunately Tim Clancy got injured in training this morning.
He has a serious injury to his Achilles tendon which is a disappointment, not only for the squad but for him because he would have been in the 18. It probably looks as if he needs an operation.
There was nobody near him, it just popped so that's really bad news for the player and the squad but we will bring someone else in and deal with that and hopefully he will have a speedy recovery.
Other than that, everybody is fully fit and ready to go. I will name the team on Friday and name the substitutes on Saturday morning.
A contact-less injury to the Achilles tendon is usually very bad news, and if Wright's fears the player might need surgery are confirmed, Clancy could potentially be out until the start of next season.
Dundee's Jackie McNamara sounded very confident ahead of Saturday's match, while he also explained how difficult it is to tell a player he won't be starting a cup final:
Everyone's been fairly relaxed. It'd be good for them to finish this season and be part of the history.
It's about everybody, not just the starting 11. Everybody plays their part, even the ones that are not involved. For me the most important thing is that the lads go and enjoy it, enjoy the occasion, the experience.
It [leaving players out] is part and parcel of the job. As a manager, as a person, I don't like letting people down; players or anybody for that matter. I've had a taste of it myself as a player but I can only start 11 players. You want everybody else to feel part of it, whether on the bench or in the stand.
We want these players to go and experience things that I've had in my career with winning trophies and being part of something special.
Saturday's clash will be a clash of styles, with the athletic Tangerines going up against a rugged, organised St. Johnstone squad.
Via WhoScored.com, United outscored every single team in Scotland's top division save champions Celtic Glasgow in 2013-14, and their skills using the counter-attack are deadly when the team is playing well.
But the Tangerines are very weak in dead-ball situations and have struggled dealing with corners specifically all year, something the Super Js took full advantage off when these teams last met in April.
Steve May is St. Johnstone's main attacking threat, as evidenced by his 20 goals in the 2013-14 league campaign, per WhoScored. Neutralising him will be key for a United defence that has only shut out a single opponent in 2014.
St. Johnstone have beaten Dundee United in three of their four meetings this season, and the 21-year-old forward scored in each of those wins, so the Tangerines defence will be warned.
United run most of their offense through Nadir Ciftci, who has enjoyed a phenomenal season for Dundee. The youngster became more and more consistent as the season went on, culminating in his epic goal against Glasgow Rangers, a moment fans are already calling the moment of the season:
If Ciftci plays well, so does his team. While Saturday's final will not be head-to-head between phenomenal attacking talent Ciftci and May, the winner of that battle will most likely be hoisting the trophy at the end of the match.
Dundee will look to score early, in an attempt to take advantage of their athletic abilities on the counter. The longer this match remains scoreless, the easier it will be for St. Johnstone to contain Dundee's play in midfield, knowing they could score in the blink of an eye should United once again fail to deal with a set piece.
History will be made on Saturday, whether it's United winning their fourth Scottish Cup or the Super Js emerging victorious in their very first final. This fixture promises to deliver yet more drama, the perfect ending to a fantastic year for Scottish football.
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