Dundee Utd V Aberdeen – view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Morris aiming for a happy birthday
Dundee United defender Callum Morris aims to make it a special few days in his life as his family and friends descend upon Hampden.
The Geordie turns 25 on Tuesday but it will only be a celebration if he has helped United secure a Scottish League Cup final place when they face Aberdeen on Saturday.
The centre-back, who began his career with home city club Newcastle, will make his Hampden debut and he is determined to make it a happy occasion.
“I had a few youth cup finals with Newcastle and at Dunfermline a few play-off defeats, but this is probably one of the bigger ones with so much at stake, the New Firm, and going to Hampden, it’s going to be massive,” he said.
“I’m just looking forward to getting there on Saturday and hopefully doing the business.
“I have watched a game at Hampden before but I have never played there. It was a youth cup final between Dunfermline and Celtic a few years ago.
“That’s the only experience I’ve had of the place so I’m looking forward to actually getting out on the pitch.
“Half of Newcastle is coming. It’s a good occasion for everyone to come up and it’s my birthday a couple of days after as well, so hopefully it will be a good couple of days.”
There was some doubt about whether Morris would make the squad though after being troubled by an Achilles problem this month.
But he ended his lay-off by playing 90 minutes against Motherwell last weekend as United warmed up for their trip to Glasgow with a 3-1 victory.
“It was one of those things I just had to take day by day, I didn’t really have a timeframe,” Morris said. “I just had to make sure it settled down.
“I’m happy I got 90 minutes under my belt and hopefully pushed enough to get a starting place for Saturday. I felt all right.
“Although I missed a few matches it has only been three weeks. It felt like six months. But I felt good and with another week’s training I will be fine.”
The Hampden encounter could be too close to call with only three points separating the teams in the Scottish Premiership and with both sides recording comfortable away wins in the two games between the north-east rivals this season.
And Morris will try to use both of those games to work out how to beat the Dons at Hampden.
“You cannot neglect the feelings we had after getting beat,” he said. “I think it’s important we put that right on Saturday. We will be taking bits from either game and hopefully putting it together and getting through to the next round.”
Adam Rooney scored the decisive penalty to bring silverware back to Aberdeen for the first time in 19 years and is determined the Red Army do not wait as long again for more success.
The Dons beat Inverness 4-2 on penalties in the Scottish League Cup final at Celtic Park last March after a goalless 120 minutes and it was the Irishman who notched the final spot-kick to claim victory.
The Granite City club are one step away from another final appearance and Rooney is looking to reward the 20,000-plus Aberdeen fans who will travel to Glasgow with the chance of another trophy celebration.
He told the club’s official website: “The job this year, and in the seasons ahead, is to make sure last year was not a once in a 20-year experience for our supporters.
“The one thing the win last year did was to give us the belief that we can go on and achieve good things for this football club.
“Saturday is another massive game for this team, but every game is a massive game at this club.
“Since I arrived a year ago, everything at Aberdeen has been very positive and the club is going in the right direction.
“Everyone throughout the club is very positive. We have had some fantastic results but we know we will have to work very hard and put in a very good performance to get another positive result.
“We know it is going to be very difficult as Dundee United are a good side.”
Aberdeen forward David Goodwillie is going against the flow by looking for a dull game.
Most of Scottish football is eagerly awaiting the encounter between two of the country’s most entertaining teams.
The former Dundee United striker, however, can do without any excitement as long as the cup holders book their place in the final against Celtic or Rangers, who play at the national stadium in the other semi-final on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Scotland international said: “On a personal note, I hope it is boring and we win.”