Brendan Rodgers: Celtic ‘ready to perform’
Scottish Cup final: Celtic v Aberdeen
Date: Saturday, 27 May Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two Scotland from 13:15 BST, BBC Radio Scotland from 14:00 BST and text commentary on the BBC Sport Scotland website

Celtic striker Moussa Dembele is fit enough to start Saturday’s Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen, manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed.

Dembele, 20, has not featured since late April, when he injured a hamstring in the semi-final win over Rangers.

The Frenchman has scored 32 goals for the Scottish champions this season, five of them in the Scottish Cup.

“He’s fine. He has trained all week so he is available. He would be able to start,” Rodgers said.

In Dembele’s absence, fellow striker Leigh Griffiths has scored four goals in five matches, including one in the 3-1 Premiership victory over the Dons at Pittodrie.

The Scotland player began the season as Rodgers’ first-choice option up-front, but lost his starting berth due to the form of free-scoring Dembele.

“All the players throughout the season have given me selection issues,” Rodgers added. “We had our 208th session today, and in the main the players have been available for all of them.

It was feared Moussa Dembele would miss the Scottish Cup final

“Every player that has come in has done very, very well. I’ve never had to rely on just 11 players. The squad has really come to the fore over the course of the season.

“Playing our 59th competitive game, you need that squad. When Leigh was playing earlier in the season, Moussa was on the side. Leigh got injured, Moussa came in and did fantastically. Leigh has missed a lot of the season through illness, injury and the form of the team.

“But I know I can rely on them all. Whoever we put into the team will, I’m sure, do a fantastic job.”

‘We can only improve’

Celtic have beaten Aberdeen in their five previous meetings this term, including a comfortable 3-0 triumph in November’s League Cup final.

Analysis: How can Aberdeen beat Celtic and win the Scottish Cup?

Should the Parkhead side lift the Scottish Cup for the 37th time, Rodgers will have guided his team to a first domestic treble since 2001, without having lost a game in the process.

“We’ve tried to remove the emotion of it all,” the former Liverpool boss said. “We’ve just tried to look at the next game.

“Of course there’s been a lot written and said in the last few months about what the players could achieve, in terms of going the season unbeaten. We’ve had to retain our focus.

“It’s really just about concentrating on what you can control. We can control how we prepare our team, how we train, how the players work, their intensity of their work, and what the players have done brilliantly this season is deal with pressure.

Between them, Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele have scored 50 goals for Celtic this season

“When you play for Celtic you’re always under pressure because the expectancy is to win every game, but we’ve played a lot of big games where questions were asked in the build-up and the players have always found the answers. We’ll go into this game ready to perform.

“No matter the result on Saturday, it’s been a brilliant season for us in our first season together, knowing that next season we can only improve.”

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