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Friday, 26 May, 2000, 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK
Cooper's cup prediction
Neale Cooper
Neale Cooper scored for Aberdeen against Rangers in a Scottish Cup final

Member of Aberdeen's victorious 1983 Cup Winners' Cup side and Graeme Souness' Rangers revolution, Neale Cooper, gives his prediction on Saturday's Tennent's Scottish Cup final.


The main thing in Aberdeen's favour is that they have nothing to lose.

They finished the season quite well and they will raise their game for the final.

Aberdeen will go and try and express themselves and put on as good a show as they can.

They'll have to knuckle down, keep the game nice and tight.

Jorg Albertz
Jorg Albertz has caught Cooper's eye
I don't think Aberdeen can just sit back and defend. If they do that they'll get hammered - they've got to go and make it quite an open game and have go at Rangers.

I think the Hampden pitch will suit Rangers more than Aberdeen though.

When you're the underdogs, it's maybe better being on a tighter park to keep the game nice and compact.

Defensive changes

If Rangers can exploit the big spaces of the park, that could hurt Aberdeen.

The absence of Lorenzo Amoruso and Craig Moore will be a big miss for Rangers.

Tony Vidmar's come in and done very well, whatever position he's been asked to play, and Sergio Porrini's an experienced player.

But there's a possibility that Aberdeen can cause them problems.

I think very highly of Jorg Albertz, and if Neil McCann plays and he's on his game, he can do some damage.

Eoin Jess
Eoin Jess is vital for Aberdeen
Arthur Numan at left back is very impressive. They've got so much attacking pace in the fullback areas.

I've liked Jonatan Johansson when I've seen him play - if he comes in, he's very quick and strong.

For Aberdeen, Eoin Jess has come in for a lot of undeserved criticism that he only plays well against Rangers.

But he's a great lad and a good player and he'll love the stage.

Changed days

Big Jim Leighton will be an inspiration to the whole team, Hicham Zerouali may be a big stage player.

Russell Anderson is a good defender and Arild Stavrum's done well the times I've seen him playing and I'm sure he'll enjoy the occasion.

Times have changed since I played with both clubs.

The Aberdeen team I played in was a very strong side at a time when Rangers were slightly weaker and the tables were turned a bit.

It was a high quality team. This team lacks those quality players but we had a great balance of youth and experience.

Advocaat
Dick Advocaat has spent a lot of money
We were a force in football but Rangers have changed things - Dick Advocaat has spent a lot of money and he's got a lot of quality players.

The Rangers team I played with was a very strong team with Butcher, Woods, McCoist, Walters and Wilkins. They'd have given the present team a really good game.

It would be massive for Aberdeen to win after all their problems in the league. The league position is the one you always look at to see how successful you've been in a season.

But there's something special about the Scottish Cup and if they got that, especially beating Rangers, they'd be cock-a-hoop.

Aberdeen have done well in the cups but I just can't see past Rangers with the power and strength they've got.

The way Rangers have played the majority of the season, I can't see Aberdeen beating them.

I think the fact Aberdeen beat Rangers in the CIS Insurance Cup, Dick Advocaat will have them wound up for Saturday's game.

My heart goes with Aberdeen, and I hope they put on a good show, but I think Rangers will win.

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