Livingston vs St Johnstone: Scottish League Cup final preview

Scott Robinson and Marvin Bartley are expected to be fit for Livingston; St Johnstone’s Murray Davidson has a 50-50 chance of being fit; follow Livingston vs St Johnstone across Sky Sports’ digital platforms with our dedicated match blog; kick-off at Hampden Park at 2pm on Sunday

Friday 26 February 2021 19:36, UK

Team news and prediction ahead of the League Cup final between Livingston and St Johnstone on Sunday (kick-off 2pm).

Team news

Scott Robinson and Marvin Bartley are expected to be fit for Livingston‘s Betfred Cup final appearance against St Johnstone.

The pair returned to training early in the week after missing last weekend’s draw with St Mirren.

Jack Fitzwater is back from suspension to leave long-term absentees Alan Lithgow (hip) and Keaghan Jacobs (foot) the only missing players.

St Johnstone‘s Murray Davidson has a 50-50 chance of being fit for the trip to the national stadium.

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The 32-year-old Saints midfielder had a small setback in his bid to recover from a calf problem.

Midfielder David Wotherspoon has recovered from a groin problem.

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How to follow…

Follow Sunday’s Scottish League Cup final between Livingston and St Johnstone across Sky Sports’ digital platforms with our dedicated match blog; kick-off at Hampden Park at 2pm.

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Sky Sports Scottish Football podcast: Scottish League Cup Final preview

St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson and Livingston manager David Martindale join Ian Crocker, Kris Boyd and Andy Walker ahead of Sunday’s League Cup final.

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Martindale hoping to repay Livingston faith

Livingston manager David Martindale is desperate to deliver the Betfred Cup for everyone at the club who gave him the opportunity to work in professional football.

Martindale’s journey of rehabilitation from a six-year prison term to top-flight manager has been well-documented in recent months and he has expressed his gratitude to all who helped him along that road. But he knows that depositing the club’s second major piece of silverware in the Tony Macaroni Arena trophy room would serve as a much more solid means of repaying their faith.

“It would be great for me but it’s more about the staff, the players, the community, and the club,” he said. “It’s not going to do anything for David Martindale but I’d be over the moon for the people at the club more so than myself, and the players in the changing room. I’m not really bothered too much about myself.

“I don’t really give myself the opportunity to reflect on that just now to be honest. We have still got to try and lift the trophy. Nobody remembers the cup losers so I don’t want minds to go down that route. We are just focused on trying to lift the trophy. But it would mean the world to my wife and my wee one, and my son. I think they would all be extremely proud of me.

“David, my son, is 24 now and Martha has been with me from day one, and Georgia is only eight years old but she has been throughout the Livingston journey and she has learnt about my past recently. I think it would mean the world to them. I think they are a lot more nervous than I am. But honestly, I want to lift the trophy so much for the players, the staff and directors and owners, because they have given me everything. They have allowed me to come into this club and work at a football club.

“I hope we can lift the trophy for everyone connected with the club.”

May: League Cup success would be ‘amazing’

St Johnstone striker Stevie May believes adding the Betfred Cup to the Scottish Cup would be “amazing” for the McDiarmid Park club and himself.

The 28-year-old starred in the Saints side which won the 2014 Scottish Cup final with a 2-0 win over Dundee United at Celtic Park. It was the Perth club’s first major trophy and there is a chance to grab the other major national cup in Scotland and May knows the significance of victory at Hampden Park on Sunday

He said: “It would be amazing personally and obviously for the club. Going so long in the history of the club without winning anything and then to win two in a relatively short space of time would be huge. It is probably getting underestimated how big an achievement it would be.

“Another cup win for me would be massive. Obviously winning the trophies would be by far the highlights of my career. The Scottish Cup itself was such a big thing at the time. It would be amazing to do that (again), for the fans as well as myself, and the younger players who are just starting out their careers. To get a trophy so early as I did would be really special for them as well. We have a chance, we have got ourselves here after some tough games.

“It is all to play for. It will be a tough game but we definitely have the belief in our abilities and confidence to go and win the game. There is not much bigger than a cup final. There’s not been many over the years, so when they come around you have to make the most of them. We managed to do it the last time so the plan is to do it again.”

Andy Walker’s prediction…

There’s a breath of fresh air about the League Cup final being contested by two of the unfashionable sides in the Scottish Premiership at Hampden on Sunday.

Speaking to both managers earlier this week on the Sky Sports Scottish Football podcast with Ian Crocker and Kris Boyd, they highlighted how close the previous games this season have been between the two sides.

This one will no doubt be the same.

  • Andy Walker’s Scottish Premiership predictions

There’s never been more than a goal in their three previous meetings and it’s all about how the players handle the big occasion of a one-off cup final.

Livingston saw off St Mirren in the semi-final with a goal from Scott Robinson but they might have to do without him due to a back injury.

David Martindale has made a remarkable start to his managerial career and his story of recently being in prison to potentially leading Livingston to their first trophy since 2004 would be truly remarkable.

Callum Davidson could not have been happier seeing his team win by three goals in their semi-final rout of Hibernian.

It is unlikely Murray Davidson will be able to shake off his calf injury which is a blow for Saints as he is always a goalscoring threat from midfield.

It was always a tall order for Davidson to emulate Tommy Wright in Perth but I am taking his side to edge it, possibly after extra time.

Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-2

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