Dundee United can win without Nadir Ciftci, says Kevin Gallacher

Nadir Ciftci scored last weekend for Dundee United against Celtic but will be missing on Sunday
Nadir Ciftci scored last weekend for Dundee United against Celtic but will be missing on Sunday

Former Dundee United striker Kevin Gallacher believes Jackie McNamara's side are good enough to win Sunday's League Cup final without Nadir Ciftci.

Ciftci scored late in the semi-final win over Aberdeen, however he is suspended for the Hampden showpiece after also picking up two yellow cards.

"He will be a bit of a miss," Gallacher told BBC Scotland.

"But, they've missed two key players from January and their form's picked up."

Gallacher, who scored for United against Celtic in the 1988 Scottish Cup final, added: "It's a blow because he leads that line very well with his physical presence.

"Sometimes you think Nadir's not even in the game and all of a sudden he does something a little bit special and gets back into it.

"They've [Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven] gone over to Celtic and they've started really well [since signing in January]. They've fitted in like they've actually been Celtic players.

"On the other hand Dundee United have lost two fantastic players but you wouldn't think that they'd lost them. They've carried on, other players are producing for the team, and carrying on the good form."

Kevin Gallacher wheels away in celebration after scoring against Celtic in the 1988 Scottish Cup final.
Kevin Gallacher wheels away in celebration after scoring against Celtic in the 1988 Scottish Cup final.

McNamara's men experienced cup final heartbreak in last season's Scottish Cup final when they lost 2-0 to St Johnstone, and Gallacher says the hurt from that day will spur them on against Ronny Deila's men.

"They've experienced that down," he said. "They're a young side, that will give them that experience as well.

"It might be a good thing losing to St Johnstone last year just to give them a little edge going up against Celtic.

"I am expecting a tight affair I must admit. Both sides are very even, we seen that last weekend, even when players were sent off it was a very tight game.

"I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a very, very good game.

"I think the goalkeepers are going to be key to this one. [Radoslaw] Cierzniak has come on to a bit of form, he's done so well but he's always liable to have a little ricket in him.

"Scott Brown leading the Celtic line in midfield, again it's going to be his temperament. Can he keep his anger inside and lead Celtic?"

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