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Motherwell v Aberdeen: Scottish Cup semi-final preview

STV previews the cup clash as both sides look to end their long wait to lift the trophy.

The two sides have met four times already this season.
The two sides have met four times already this season. snsgroup

Motherwell and Aberdeen go head to head at Hampden on Saturday looking to take one step closer to ending their near three-decade long wait to lift the Scottish Cup.

The Dons last claimed the trophy in 1990 under Alex Smith, defeating Celtic on penalties to add the famous trophy to the League Cup they had already won in the same season.

The following year Tommy McLean's Motherwell beat Dundee United 4-3 at Hampden to lift the Scottish Cup for the second time in the club's history - the triumph was the last time 'Well won a major trophy.

Currently, Derek McInnes' men lie third in the Premiership table, 24 points ahead of Stephen Robinson's side in seventh place.

Though the Dons go into the match as favourites, the Fir Park side have beaten them in two out of the four matches they have played this season.

The sides meet in the first Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Saturday, with Celtic and Rangers battling it out on Sunday to meet the winner in the final.

The Reds reached both the League Cup and Scottish Cup finals last season - can Motherwell match that feat and make a second cup final in the same campaign or will Aberdeen get through to their third final in two years?

Form

Aberdeen won the sides' most recent encounter 2-0 at Fir Park.
Aberdeen won the sides' most recent encounter 2-0 at Fir Park. snsgroup

Though 24 points separate the teams in the league there hasn't been much to choose between the pair in their encounters this season.

Aberdeen won the most recent match 2-0 at Fir Park earlier in the month whilst Motherwell beat the Dons 3-0 in their run to the League Cup final in September.

Last weekend, Derek McInnes' men tasted defeat away to Hearts losing 2-0, whilst Robinson's side were held to a 0-0 draw by St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

Stephen Robinson's men go into Saturday's tie in poor form having not won in their last five matches whilst The Reds have won three of their previous five games.

Head to head 2017/18

Tuesday, April 3, 2018: Motherwell 0-2 Aberdeen

Saturday, November 18, 2017: Aberdeen 0-2 Motherwell

Thursday, September 21, 2017: Motherwell 3-0 Aberdeen - League Cup quarter final

Sunday, September 24,2017: Motherwell 0-1 Aberdeen

Missing Men

McInnes will be without captain Graeme Shinnie.
McInnes will be without captain Graeme Shinnie. sns group

The players missing this semi-final have been one of the big talking points in the build-up to match with both sides missing their captains.

Aberdeen skipper Graeme Shinnie and his Motherwell counterpart Carl McHugh will both sit out through suspension.

McInnes will also be without key players Shay Logan and Norwich-bound Kenny McLean as they are also suspended.

Meanwhile, the Fir Park side have English duo Craig Tanner and Peter Hartley unavailable as they both recover from long-term injuries.

Key Battles

January signing Curtis Main will line up against Scotland defender Scott McKenna.
January signing Curtis Main will line up against Scotland defender Scott McKenna. sns group

Curtis Main v Scott McKenna

Main has made an impressive start to his Well career, notching six goals since signing from Portsmouth in January.

The striker, who penned an 18-month-deal at Fir Park, was brought in to help fill the void of the departing Louis Moult and has since become a fan favourite at Motherwell.

The powerful forward will line-up against Aberdeen's Scott McKenna who has had an unforgettable season.

The 21-year-old has managed to cement his place in Derek McInnes' starting 11, earn his first cap for Scotland, and attracting interest from clubs down south.

Both players go into the game in fine form for their clubs and this should be a real physical battle to look out for.

Cedric Kipre v Stevie May

Kipre has been a hit with the Fir Park faithful after arriving from Leicester last July and the club are looking at extending his deal.

The former PSG youth player's displays for Motherwell recently earned him his first call-up to the Ivory Coast squad.

The 21-year-old, who has picked up a couple of red cards this season, will line-up against Stevie May, who has recently been restored to the Aberdeen frontline.

Four years ago, May fired St Johnstone to Scottish Cup success in a blistering 27-goal season and Kipre will need to be cautious of the striker on Saturday afternoon.

The pair will go head-to-head in what could be a pivotal encounter in deciding the outcome of the game.

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