Hibernian v Ross County (Sun)

Jason Cummings and Liam Boyce

Hibs’ Jason Cummings and County’s Liam Boyce are likely to lead the attack for their respective sides

BBC Coverage

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Hibernian will assess midfielder Fraser Fyvie, out for five weeks with a knee injury, before the League Cup final against Ross County on Sunday.

Defender Paul Hanlon and midfielder Dylan McGeouch miss out through injury.

On-loan Aberdeen striker David Goodwillie is cup-tied for County, who are without injured goalkeeper Scott Fox. American goalkeeper Chris Konopka signed this week.

Craig Curran remains out with the long-term effects of a head knock.

Reporter’s notes

Both sides enter the final with injuries to key players contend with.

Ross County need to overcome the loss of Fox, while Hibernian must cope without the creative guile of midfielder McGeouch.

Problem-solving is a critical part of management, though, and Jim McIntyre and Alan Stubbs have had time to consider their options.


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Interview – Hibs and Ross County fans on final

The greater challenge is dealing with the occasion itself, since neither has managed a team in a cup final before – and most of the players will be competing in their first final.

County and Hibs are capable of expansive, attacking football, with both tending to line up with two strikers up front.

There is a preference for width also, although Hibs tend to operate with attacking full-backs and a narrow midfield.

County have scored 44 Premiership goals this season, while Hibs have notched 43 in the Championship.

Defensively, though, County have conceded 46 and Hibs only 24.

The top-flight is a strong league with more challenging opponents, but the victors in the final will likely be the team that finds the best balance between attack and defence.

The key players at Hampden will still tend to be forwards, though, since Jason Cummings and Anthony Stokes carry a goal threat for Hibs, while Liam Boyce does the same for County.

It is in midfield where Hibs may be stronger, even without McGeouch, since they hope to have Fyvie fit to play alongside John McGinn, Liam Henderson and Marvin Bartley.

Since both teams are comfortable in attack, a stalemate isn’t likely.

The two managers are also self-assured and commanding, so they will embrace the stresses and strains of the event itself.

If clear heads can be counted on then it will be the side that is most natural and composed that prevails.

Yet the teams have suffered dips in form since reaching the final.

The game has distracted the players, but now they must find the means to perform in it.

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