Glasgow (AFP) – Arch-rivals Celtic and Rangers will meet in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup next month, with holders Hibernian drawn against Aberdeen.
Celtic, the Scottish champions-elect, have already beaten fellow Glasgow giants Rangers three times this season but lost to them in an Old Firm clash at the same stage of the Scottish Cup last term, with the Gers then in the second-tier Championship.
That penalty shoot-out loss, following a 2-2 draw, played a major part in ending Ronnie Deila’s time as manager of the Hoops, with former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers now in charge at Parkhead.
Hibernian, however, won the Cup last season and the Edinburgh club will be up against an Aberdeen side who are second in the Scottish Premiership.
Edinburgh-based Hibs are now in the Championship but they have an excellent recent Cup record after appearing in the semi-finals in each of the past three seasons, with last year’s success ending a 114-year wait for a third Scottish Cup triumph.
Celtic had to come from behind to beat St Mirren 4-1 in the quarter-finals on Sunday, with Aberdeen seeing off Partick Thistle 1-0 thanks to a Graeme Shinnie goal at Pittodrie in the day’s other tie.
Hibernian were 3-1 winners over Ayr on Saturday while Rangers thrashed Hamilton 6-0.
“It is a good draw and I think Hibs will see it exactly the same way as we do,” Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes told the BBC on Sunday.
“If we are all being honest, I think the three other teams would have wanted to avoid Celtic because they are the strongest team at the minute.”
Both semi-finals will be played at Glasgow’s Hampden Park, Scotland’s national football stadium, on the weekend of April 22-23.
Scottish Cup semi-finals
Celtic v Rangers
Hibernian v Aberdeen
Ties to be played at Hampden Park on the weekend of April 22-23