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Celtic and Rangers meet in the Viaplay Cup final on Sunday.

Both teams go into the Hampden encounter in impressive form.

Here are some of the main talking points ahead of the showpiece clash.

Fashion Statement

Fashion Sakala
Fashion Sakala is confident ahead of facing Celtic (Jane Barlow/PA)

Players and managers usually do their best not to inflame any tensions or give their rivals any motivational ammunition during the build-up to this fixture. Not Fashion Sakala. The Rangers forward referred to Celtic as “the other mob” during a broadcast media conference and then claimed his side were a “much better” team when talking to newspaper journalists. An engaging personality, the Zambian’s words possibly look more confrontational on paper than how they were delivered, but that might not stop them being pinned on the Celtic dressing room or mentioned in the pre-match huddle. The in-form Sakala will have to walk the walk on Sunday to back up his talk.

League Cup triumphs compared

Celtic are the holders
Celtic are the holders (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Celtic have won six of the last eight League Cups but still trail behind Rangers in the tournament’s trophy count. The Ibrox club secured their 27th success when they beat their city rivals in 2011 and Celtic are now on 20. The most recent final meeting between Sunday’s teams came in the 2019-20 campaign when Neil Lennon’ s 10 men triumphed 1-0 thanks to a Christopher Jullien goal.

Perfectly poised

Rangers v Celtic
Honours were even after the previous derby (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Celtic lead the way in the title race by nine points but both teams have identical records since former first-team coach Michael Beale returned to Ibrox to take over as manager during the World Cup. Both sides have 13 wins in all competitions since as well as drawing 2-2 with each other at Ibrox on January 2. Celtic took an early lead and were well on top until Greg Taylor went off injured midway through the first half but Rangers delivered a marked improvement on the performance of their 4-0 defeat at Celtic Park earlier in the season and the Hoops needed a late goal from Kyogo Furuhashi to earn a point.

Recent Hampden Encounters

Scott Arfield
Scott Arfield celebrates scoring Rangers’ equaliser at Hampden last season (Jane Barlow/PA)

Rangers have the latest success at the national stadium when they came from behind to beat Celtic 2-1 in last season’s Scottish Cup semi-finals. Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side came through in extra-time three days after reaching the Europa League semi-finals. Celtic had won the previous Hampden clash in that League Cup final in December 2019.