Another Hampden showdown with Celtic awaits Aberdeen as they aim to reach their second cup final of the season.
The Dons reached this stage of the Scottish Cup last year, although they will hope for a different outcome. A 3-0 humbling at the hands of Motherwell last season was probably the worst Derek McInnes has seen his side perform at the national stadium under his reign.
Much like last year, Aberdeen have injuries and niggles to deal with. Shay Logan and Gary Mackay-Steven will miss the clash. Dons captain Graeme Shinnie will also be missing due to suspension.
Add in a couple of knocks and niggles for Greg Stewart, Dean Campbell and Connor McLennan, McInnes’ side are struggling for fully fit players for the Hampden battle.
Aberdeen are underdogs for this clash, but the chance to reach another cup final and stop a potential Celtic treble treble is something the Pittodrie side will not want to pass up on.
Who’ll be the 11 selected to take down a relentless Hoops side on Sunday though? NTOF has predicted who might be selected by the Aberdeen boss this weekend, thinking there will be two changes from last week’s win against Dundee.
The starting XI
He’s the Dons’ number one, so minus a freak injury between now and Sunday afternoon, Joe Lewis will start in goals.
McInnes will likely opt for his regular 4-2-3-1 approach. Andrew Considine will link up with deputy captain Scott McKenna in the middle of defence.
Max Lowe will start his third game of the season against Celtic and Dominic Ball will line-up in place of Logan on the right. He’s been a great deputy since the Englishman was placed on the sidelines and they’ll need him to step up again at Hampden.
No surprises at the back, but it’s midfield where it gets interesting. With Shinnie out, a new defensive midfielder is needed. Lewis Ferguson will start, but it has to be Stephen Gleeson who starts alongside him.
He hasn’t had much gametime as of late, but he looks to be the most experienced candidate McInnes has at his disposal in that position.
Niall McGinn will look to continue his form out on the right and McLennan similar on the left. Last time out against Celtic, McInnes opted for striker James Wilson in the attacking midfield position. I think he’ll do the same again, but not with Wilson, this time with Stevie May.
A choice that may split opinion, but with Greg Stewart coming off the back of a niggle, it might be wise to try this for at least the first hour. May links well with lone striker Sam Cosgrove and created lots of chances for him earlier in the season. It might be a combo that works well against the cup holders.
There aren’t any swaps at the back, but the two midfield switches could change the outcome of this clash.
Here’s the full XI in list form.