Blogs & Opinion


St Johnstone v Dundee United: Terrors' attack should give them edge in Scottish Cup Final

Andy Walker - Andy Walker Posted 14th May 2014 view comments

After the final SPFL league matches of the season last weekend, all eyes are now focused on Celtic Park for the William Hill Scottish Cup final on Saturday between Tayside rivals St Johnstone and Dundee United.

It's a huge milestone for St Johnstone to reach their first ever Scottish Cup final and it'll be interesting to see how Tommy Wright's men handle the occasion.

The Perth side surprised a lot of people by coming up with the perfect performance to beat favourites Aberdeen in the semi-final at Ibrox and it's fair to say Wright has done a terrific job since taking over from Steve Lomas.

Saints chief Tommy Wright could be Manager of the Season if his side win this weekend

Saints chief Tommy Wright could be Manager of the Season if his side win this weekend

Despite their limited resources, St Johnstone finished comfortably in the top half of the table as well as reaching the semi-final of the League Cup. Were they to win on Saturday, Wright could reasonably lay claim to being manager of the year.

Much of United's hopes will be pinned on 21-year-old poster boy Stevie May, who has 27 goals to his credit this season.

His superb strikes in the semi-final against Aberdeen turned the game on its head and he also has to contend with a growing list of clubs who may be interested in securing his services for next season.

Defensively, St Johnstone have a more solid look about them than Utd.

Goalkeeper Alan Mannus produced a fantastic save from Adam Rooney in the semi-finals when his team were one down.

In front of him, Dave Mackay, Fraser Wright and Steven Anderson seem more dependable and stronger than Utd's back four.

Match-winners

Alongside May, Steven MacLean and Michael O'Halloran are options for Wright.

Quality service to the strikers is obviously important and it's from middle to front where I think Utd have the edge.

Even allowing for their defence being soft at times, Utd have more potential match-winners than St Johnstone.

Stuart Armstrong, Gary Mackay-Steven, Ryan Gauld, Ryan Dow and Nadir Ciftci can all come up with something special and it's the main reason why I think Utd will come out on top.

In Andrew Robertson, they have a full-back who is also an excellent attacking option.

Much will depend on how both sets of players react on the day as the build up to the final is long and nerves can play a part if you lose your focus.

Jackie McNamara rested a few of his important front players last weekend when Celtic beat them 3-1 but even playing on the Celtic Park surface with such a huge crowd in attendance so recently will help them settle.

I also think their semi-final experience in beating Rangers at Ibrox shows that Utd can handle a big occasion and come up with the type of performance that will see them qualify for Europe as Scottish Cup winners.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Martin Tyler

Tyler's stats and facts

Who has the most Premier League goals without scoring with his head? Martin Tyler knows......

Ed Chamberlin

Strength to strength

Ed Chamberlin previews Super Sunday, gives his racing tips and cannot wait to work with Thierry Henry....

Latest News RSS feeds

Skrtel earns Liverpool draw

A 97th-minute bullet header from defender Martin Skrtel earned Liverpool a 2-2 draw with Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday.

Johnson snatches derby win

Sunderland clinched a fourth straight win over Newcastle as Adam Johnson's last-gasp strike sealed a 1-0 victory.

Super Sunday live!

Reaction from Anfield after 10-man Liverpool salvage a draw against Arsenal in the Premier League.

Hartlepool won't sign Evans

Hartlepool have announced they will not sign convicted rapist Ched Evans after boss Ronnie Moore expressed an interest.

Live transfer updates

We bring you news of a possible Premier League return next summer for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale...

Features

Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland: Reshuffled defence stand firm for visitors at St James' Park

Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland: Reshuffled defence stand firm for visitors at St James' Park

Adam Johnson once again grabbed the headlines in the Tyne-Wear derby, finding the net at St James’ Park for the third season in a row to help Sunderland to a record fourth-straight victory over arch rivals Newcastle in the Premier League.

Premier League: Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic settling at Stoke and ready for fresh clash with Chelsea

Premier League: Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic settling at Stoke and ready for fresh clash with Chelsea

Bojan Krkic made his name at Barcelona but is now hoping to build a career at Stoke City, writes Adam Bate.

Italian Super Cup: The spotlight is firmly on Rafael Benitez as his Napoli team prepare to face Juventus on Monday

Italian Super Cup: The spotlight is firmly on Rafael Benitez as his Napoli team prepare to face Juventus on Monday

Napoli coach Rafael Benitez is on the brink of another trophy to add to his collection but as ever with the Spaniard, the situation is more complicated than it might seem, writes Adam Bate...