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Summary

  1. Both League Cup semi-finals to be staged at Hampden
  2. Morton v Aberdeen Sat 22 Oct (12:15); Celtic v Rangers Sun 23 Oct (14:15)
  3. Rangers striker Kenny Miller remains in squad despite arrest
  4. Hearts put Ozturk talks on hold

Live reporting

By Keir Murray and Colin Moffat

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Reminder - Sportsound on now

Tune in for all the football chat ahead of the weekend now on Radio Scotland MW.  Rob Maclean is presenting the show from Scotstoun, from where there'll also be live commentary of Glasgow's Pro12 rugby clash with Ulster a bit later from 1935. 

See you tomorrow for another packed day of Scottish football, with a full programme from 15:00 BST.  Until then...

Rangers' new arrivals 'shocked' by hostility

Rangers manager Mark Warburton again ducked all questions on the future of Joey Barton, who is serving a three-week club suspension.

But is he is braced for a hostile reception at Pittodrie on Sunday when his club takes on Aberdeen for the first time in four years.

This is what he had to say...

"I used to say to people: 'Who are we playing? What's the relationship like?' Now I just don't bother asking. I know the answer. 

"Are the players getting used to the hostility they are going to face at these away grounds? I think they are getting there. 

"It's interesting when you speak to some of the new guys like Clint Hill, Niko Kranjcar and Matt Gilks. They are all very experienced and seasoned pros. But they have been shocked by the rivalries and the apparent hatred from certain fans. 

"These are guys who have played in the Premier League for years and years and have a number of international caps but they are now getting used to how things are up here." 

Mark Warburton
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Killie's Clark happy to catch up with Rodgers

Lee Clark is looking forward to a trip down memory lane with Brendan Rodgers when he takes his Kilmarnock side to Celtic Park on Saturday. 

"Brendan and me go back a long while," said the 43-year-old. "We played against each other as 15-year-olds in the England versus Northern Ireland schoolboys.

"I signed Jordan Ibe from him on loan when I was Birmingham manager and he was Liverpool manager, he was a big supporter of me. 

"Brendan suffered a serious injury as a young footballer, his career path went on a different route but he has proved himself to be a top manager and top coach. 

"We had a brief encounter in Spain one summer where we reminisced about the old days so I am looking forward to meeting up with him tomorrow. I hope he will be a little bit unhappy after the game when I pop in and see him because we have done a job on him." 

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark
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Both League Cup semi-finals at Hampden Park

Both Scottish League Cup semi-finals will be staged at Hampden Park on the weekend of 22-23 October, the SPFL has announced.

Championship side Morton will take on Aberdeen in the first semi-final on Saturday, 22 October, with a 12:15 BST kick-off.

The Old Firm semi-final between Rangers and Celtic will be staged on Sunday, 23 October, with a 14:15 kick-off.

Inverness growing in confidence

Inverness defender Brad McKay feels manager Richie Foran's faith in his players is reaping rewards after a shaky start to the season.

Caley Thistle lost their opening three Premiership games but a win over St Johnstone has been followed by draws against Aberdeen and Celtic.

"Arguably, Aberdeen and Celtic are the best two teams in Scotland, so anything you get from them is a bonus, said McKay ahead of Saturday's game with Dundee.

"The manager puts belief in us and told us before the game and at half-time of both games, that we could win it. You think getting away without a hammering against Celtic you've done well, but he said he believed in us to get something. It's brilliant coming from the manager and it helps us going on the pitch. 

"It's been a case of keeping it tight at the back. That gives you the foundation to pick something up - we're not happy with not keeping clean sheets but that will come. We've played two of the best teams going forward, so hopefully we can pick up a win and a clean sheet on Saturday."

Brad McKay
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McKay, normally a central defender, has started the last two matches at right-back

Saturday team news - Killie without captain Smith at Celtic

Celtic v Kilmarnock (15:00 BST)

Kilmarnock will be without captain and left-back Steven Smith, who will be sidelined for three to four weeks after an ankle operation.  But midfielder Greg Taylor, who has also played at left-back, returns from suspension.

Forward Nathan Tyson is in contention for a start after coming on as substitute against Partick Thistle last week, while injured trio Greg Kiltie, Miles Addison and Dapo Kayode could return against Aberdeen next week. But Callum McFadzean is still out. 

See 14:28 entry below for Celtic team news. 

Steven Smith is forced off for Kilmarnock in their 2-2 draw with Partick last week
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Steven Smith was forced off for Kilmarnock in their 2-2 draw with Partick last week

Saturday team news - Dundee without banned duo at ICT

Inverness CT v Dundee (15;00 BST)

Inverness full-back Lewis Horner is unlikely to make the Premiership visit of Dundee to the Highlands. But Caley Thistle manager Richie Foran expects other players to shake off knocks following their 2-2 draw with Celtic. Back-up goalkeeper Ryan Esson  and long-term absentee Kevin McNaughton remain on the sidelines though. 

Centre-back Kevin Gomis and midfielder Mark O'Hara are suspended for Dundee. Defender Gomis completes a two-match ban while O'Hara sits out one game following his late red card against Aberdeen. James McPake remains on the sidelines with a long-term knee injury. 

Mark O'Hara is sent off for a second yellow card against Aberdeen last Sunday
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Mark O'Hara was sent off for a second yellow card against Aberdeen last Sunday

Miller remains in Rangers squad after arrest

Kenny Miller has been told his place in the Rangers squad is safe despite being arrested following an alleged brawl.

The 36-year-old former Scotland striker was arrested in connection with an incident in a restaurant, which happened hours after Rangers' derby defeat at Celtic Park.

Manager Mark Warburton said: "It is a judicial matter so there is no comment there but suffice to say we give the player 100% support.

"Kenny is a top-class pro. You've seen that from his performances this season, you've seen that from how many times I've picked him this season. That won't change. I have absolutely no doubts about Kenny Miller, on or off the pitch." 

Saturday team news - Partick without Osman v Motherwell

Partick v Motherwell (15:00 BST)

Partick Thistle expect midfielder Chris Erskine to shrug off tightness in his leg to be fit for the visit of Motherwell to Firhill. But goalkeeper Tomas Cerny remains out for Thistle, who are currently bottom of the Premiership, with four points from five games. 

Skipper Abdul Osman is suspended following his late red card at Kilmarnock last week, while long-term absentees Stuart Bannigan, Gary Fraser and Mustapha Dumbuya remain sidelined. 

Midfielder Lee Lucas - on loan from Swansea - and winger Luka Belic - a recent loan signing from West Ham - are getting closer to their first Premiership action for Motherwell after featuring for the Under-20s ahead of Saturday's game.

Jacob Blyth and Kieran Kennedy returned to full training on Thursday, but are not yet ready to return, while Carl McHugh is also close to recovering from a serious bout of concussion. Joe Chalmers remains out with a groin problem. 

Abdul Osman walks off the pitch after his red card for Partick against Kilmarnock
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Abdul Osman was sent off for two yellow cards at Rugby Park last week

Saturday team news - Boyce back for County at Hearts

Hearts v Ross County (15:00 BST)

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has a full squad to choose from for their Premiership match against Ross County.

Perry Kitchen will lead the team out for the first time since being named club captain. He replaced Alim Ozturk, who has not made a league appearance this season and has had talks over a new deal put on hold.

County's Dutch striker Alex Schalk will miss the trip to Tynecastle with a knee injury sustained against Rangers last weekend, and will also miss next week's home game against St Johnstone.

But top-scorer Liam Boyce, who has scored six goals in his last four games, returns after missing the Rangers game with a back spasm. Defender Jay McEveley is also back from suspension.

Liam Boyce celebrates scoring for Ross County against Kilmarnock
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Boyce bagged a hat-trick against Inverness and a brace against Kilmarnock last month

1979-80 League Cup semi: Aberdeen 2-1 Morton

For the older fans, Morton being drawn to play Aberdeen in the League Cup semi will bring back memories of the last time Morton were at that stage of the competition - on 1 December 1979.

Their opponents? It just had to be Aberdeen.

The Dons won 2-1 at Hampden in front of just 11,896 fans. Gordon Strachan and Mark McGhee were on target for Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen and Andy Ritchie scored from the penalty spot for Morton.

Aberdeen played Dundee United in the cup final at Hampden a week later, the match ending 0-0, and in the replay at Dens Park on 12 December United won 3-0.

Aberdeen: Clark, Kennedy, Rougvie, McLeish, Garner, Miller, Strachan, Archibald, McGhee, McMaster, Scanlan.

Morton: Baines, Hayes, Holmes, Anderson, McLaughlin, Orr, McNeil, Miller, Thomson, Hutchison, Ritchie.

Willie Miller tries to clear the Aberdeen lines in the semi-final against Morton as Andy Ritchie watches on
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Willie Miller tries to clear the Aberdeen lines in the semi-final against Morton as Andy Ritchie and Gordon Strachan watch on

Saturday team news - Griffiths back for Celtic

Celtic v Kilmarnock (15:00 BST)

Leigh Griffiths returns to the Celtic squad for the Premiership clash with Kilmarnock at Parkhead on Saturday. The Scotland striker has missed four games with hamstring and calf injuries. 

Manager Brendan Rodgers will consider whether to reinstate Griffiths as a lone striker or to play him alongside in-form Moussa Dembele, but has already indicated he won't necessarily change the balance of the team to accommodate both.

Leigh Griffiths puts his arms round fellow Celtic striker Moussa Dembele
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Griffiths (seven goals in nine games) and Dembele (eight in 14) have 15 goals between them this season

Derek McInnes, Morton legend

Derek McInnes has many admirers in Scottish football for the work he has done managing Aberdeen, but it was great to read his quotes after the draw was made for the semi-finals of the Betfred Cup - and the Dons were paired with Morton for whom McInnes played more than 200 games between 1988 and 1995.

The former midfielder said: "When the Old Firm are in the draw along with a team from the Championship, we probably all want the Championship team - but Morton probably wanted us as well, I would imagine. 

"But that is with the greatest respect to Morton because they are my club really. 

"Some of my fondest memories in the game have been there and I have got a huge attachment to the club so I am so pleased that they are in the semi-final and pleased for Douglas Rae and Jim Duffy down there. 

"Lots of my friends are Morton supporters so I am delighted I will get the chance to put myself up against them, but that will be a tough game."

Let's have a trawl through the picture archives...

September 1988: McInnes in action for Morton in a 1-1 draw against St Johnstone
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September 1988: McInnes in action for Morton in a 1-1 draw against St Johnstone
Derek McInnes in action for Morton in 1993
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February 1993: McInnes was part of the Morton team that tried to bamboozle the opposition with the geometric patterns on their jerseys. I worked on this occasion as they beat Clydebank 2-0.
1994-95 McInnes poses in another, um, striking Morton strip
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1994-95 McInnes poses in another, um, striking Morton strip

Ross County aim to keep Hearts quiet

Ross County meet Hearts tomorrow looking for a first win at Tynecastle.

The Dingwall side rode their luck at times last weekend to leave Ibrox with a 0-0 draw and manager Jim McIntyre wants to see more of a menace in the final third this time.

"Tynecastle has a fantastic atmosphere, it is a great place to go and play your football," said the Staggies boss.

"The crowd is right on top of you and like going to any big ground, you want to turn that crowd against the home team by getting off to a good start and getting that first goal and that is our aim.

"We want to be more of an attacking threat. There is no doubt about that, that is the one thing that we did better last season using that system. But I think the players deserved great credit for their work rate last week and going an extra mile to help each other out." 

Jim McIntrye
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McIntrye's side have scored seven and conceded seven in their six league games

Paterson 'ready to move on' from Hearts

Brian McLauchlin

BBC Sport Scotland

Full-back Callum Paterson is almost certainly playing his last season at Hearts, concedes head coach Robbie Neilson.

The 21-year-old, capped twice for Scotland, will be out of contract next summer, while the Edinburgh club chose to reject an approach from Wigan in August.

"Callum is at the stage now where he is probably ready to move on," Neilson told BBC Scotland. "We knocked back a bid in the summer that was nowhere near what we were looking to get for him. We will get good compensation so it's now time for Callum to concentrate on his football and his form and we may get another 30 or 40 games out of him."

Neilson said the lack of finance in the game in Scotland dictates that clubs do have to sell their assets when the time and the money is right.

"All Hearts players are up for sale. That's the way football is in Scotland. Whether it's Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen or Hearts. If a team comes in and pays the figure we are looking for then the player will move on. But it has to be the right figure that we are happy with."

Callum Paterson
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Paterson made his Hearts debut in August 2012

Hearts put Ozturk talks on hold

Brian McLauchlin

BBC Sport Scotland

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson says Alim Ozturk needs to concentrate on regaining his place in the starting eleven and not be disappointed at losing the club captaincy to Perry Kitchen. 

The Turkish defender has made only one start this season and talks over a new contract have been put on hold.

"Perry has come in and proven to be a real leader of the group," Neilson told BBC Scotland. "I thought he had established that leadership in there. I spoke to Alim. He understood and accepted it. He was disappointed and it's now a case of home just focusing on his game and get himself back in the team.

"He is at an age where he has to play. If he gets back in the team then we continue negotiations and keep talking but he has to get in the team."

Alim Ozturk
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Ozturk captained Hearts to a third place finish in the Premiership last season

Thommo's Premiership predictions

BBC Scotland football pundit Steven Thompson states, bold as you like, what the scores are going to be in the Scottish Premiership this weekend.

If you fancy pitting your wits against the big dude from Sportscene, then play the Predictor. It's very quick to register and you can display your prowess by joining mini-leagues with your pals.

Play the Predictor.

Steven Thompson gives his predictions for the weekend Premiership matches.

Donati playing through the pain

Massimo Donati proved last week that he's not at Hamilton to gently see out his final years as a pro.

The 35-year-old former AC Milan, Parma and Celtic midfielder played on with a broken nose when Accies were trailing 3-0 to Motherwell - the game ended 4-2 - and is not thinking about a rest this weekend either.

"Massimo broke his nose in last week's derby but the docs couldn't straighten it then because there was too much swelling," explained manager Martin Canning.

"They told us that if they straightened it now it will just pop back out again so we have to wait. But Massimo still wants to play on Sunday and that says a lot about the guy. 

"His attitude is first class and he just wants to play. Obviously if he gets a knock on it there will be some pain but he just wants to be involved."

Massimo Donati
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Donati is determined to play against St Johnstone on Sunday

Dembele has no penalty fears

Moussa Dembele will gladly step up to the mark if Celtic get a penalty against Kilmarnock on Saturday and give no thought to his recent miss in the Nou Camp.

The 20-year-old striker had the chance to level from the spot against Barcelona in their opening Champions League Group C match but his strike was saved before the hosts side ran riot with a 7-0 win. 

"Yes, I will take the next one," he said. "Sometimes you score, sometimes you miss. When you miss a penalty you just have to think about scoring the next one and forget about the last one. It has happened to everyone. 

"There is not one player who hasn't missed a penalty and you have to focus on the next one and make sure you score." 

Moussa Dembele saw his penalty saved at the Nou Camp
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Dembele missed his spot-kick at the Nou Camp

Saints lose their appeal...

Spare a thought for St Johnstone today. Losing 1-0 to Aberdeen at Pittodrie is no disgrace, but conceding in the last minute of a quarter-final will smart somewhat. Further, the defeat came at the end of a day when they lost their appeal against the bookings shown to Graham Cummins and Chris Kane for simulation (ie diving) in last Saturday's match against Hearts. 

What do you think? Should the bookings have stood? Have a look at the highlights.

Here's one from the archives

In the digital world, we can't pretend to be heading down to the BBC basement and dusting off old film reels. Instead, my Sportscene colleagues have been digging out material from our online archive to bring you some classic moments from Rangers-Aberdeen matches.

Here's a cracker from January 2000 when Rangers ran in five goals against the Premiership's bottom side Aberdeen.

Teams

Rangers: Klos, Vidmar, Moore, Amoruso, Numan, Ferguson, Kanchelskis, Van Bronckhorst, Albertz, Wallace, Dodds. Subs: Brown, Reyna, McCann, Kerimoglu, Carson.

Aberdeen: Leighton, Perry, Whyte, Anderson, McAllister, Jess, Solberg, Bernard, Dow, Stavrum, Zerouali. Subs: Preece, Winters, McGuire, Rutkiewicz, Belabed.

Referee: Hugh Dallas

Archive, January 2000 Rangers 5-0 Aberdeen

Old Firm match on Hogmanay

The Betfred Cup semi-final draw has thrown up a second Old Firm match of the season, scheduled for the weekend of 22-23 October, but Celtic and Rangers are also scheduled to meet in the league on Hogmanay. 

The timing of the match has caused quite a stir, with the Scottish Licensed Trade Association the latest to object.

Our news colleagues have the story.

Rangers and Celtic fans
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On the back pages

Our gossip column is so chock-full of snippets from Scotland's press that if it were being delivered by a paper boy he'd need a shopping trolley to cope with the weight. Here are some of the newsy nuggets:

  • Brendan Rodgers complains that BT Sport showed replays of fouls by defender Erik Sviatchenko and goalkeeper Craig Gordon 40 times, while similar indiscretions are not covered in the same depth
  • Ayrshire businessman Chris McMail has withdrawn an offer to invest £750,000 in Kilmarnock
  • Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is unhappy that his team have two days fewer than Rangers to prepare for Sunday's meeting of the teams at Pittodrie.

Read the Scottish gossip column.

Inverness midfielder Ross Draper looks to the referee after going down under a challenge by Erik Sviatchenko
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Inverness midfielder Ross Draper looks to the referee after going down under a challenge by Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko

Extreme disappointment

For Saints boss Tommy Wright, there was, as you might expect, dreadful disappointment. He sought to play down an incident after the match, however.

"There was a bit of shouting and balling and yelling," he told BBC Scotland.

"Aberdeen have a right to celebrate but they left the dressing room door open and the music was deafening. Our players were a bit upset and one of them shut the door. But there was nothing in it." 

And Wright said to PA: "We put a lot into the game and I thought we deserved extra time because Aberdeen might have had more pressure but I don't think Zander Clark has had to make a difficult save the whole game." 

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright
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Delighted Dons

There was incredible drama at Pittodrie last night where Adam Rooney scored in the final minute of normal time to seal a 1-0 Betfred Cup quarter-final win for Aberdeen at St Johnstone's expense. 

Read Brian McLauchlin's match report.

Adam Rooney celebrates
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Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney sent the Dons fans at Pittodrie into raptures with his headed goal

Good morning

Good morning, all. Do you have that knot developing in your stomach about the weekend's football? Well, a bit like rubbing a sore tooth, we can both help with your nervous pangs and perhaps make them worse - with bits of gossip, team news, video and links to fun things like the Predictor and our Premiership league placings feature.