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Thursday 23rd March 2017

IRN-BRU Cup final preview in numbers

Resident statto @splstats looks at some of the numbers ahead of Saturday’s IRN-BRU Cup final between Dundee United and St Mirren at Fir Park.

Resident statto @splstats looks at some of the numbers ahead of Saturday’s IRN-BRU Cup final between Dundee United and St Mirren at Fir Park.

30 – Dundee United and St Mirren will face off in Saturday’s IRN-BRU Cup final, 30 years after their only previous cup final meeting. The 1987 Scottish Cup is more fondly remembered in Paisley than Dundee, with Saints recording a 1-0 victory thanks to an extra-time goal from Ian Ferguson. St Mirren are currently six places behind United in the Ladbrokes Championship but will be hoping to take inspiration from the 1987 side, who finished four places behind The Terrors in the Premier Division but still triumphed in the final.

2 – St Mirren are aiming to win the IRN-BRU Cup for the second time in their history, having previously won the trophy back in 2005/06 with a 2-1 victory over Hamilton Accies. Simon Lappin gave Saints the lead, Scott Tunbridge equalised for Accies then John Sutton netted a late winner to take the trophy back to Paisley. Sutton has scored four times for Saints in this season’s competition. Saints also reached the final in 1993/94, but were beaten 3-0 by a very strong Falkirk side at Fir Park.

1 – Dundee United would become the 16th different club to win the IRN-BRU Cup if they are successful on Saturday. The Terrors could become the fourth consecutive first-time winners after Raith Rovers in 2013/14, Livingston in 2014/15 and Rangers last season. This is just the second time United have entered the tournament – their previous foray in 1995/96 saw them reach the final, only to suffer a shock defeat to Stenhousemuir on penalties. Current manager Ray McKinnon was in the Dundee United side that day and will be looking to make amends this time around.

10 – Dundee United have held the upper hand in the recent meetings between these two sides, with seven victories in the last 10 meetings. Saints have beaten United twice in the same period, but did come out on top the last time the sides met, picking up a 3-2 victory in a Ladbrokes Championship fixture last midweek. Recent encounters have typically been pretty high-scoring – the sides have averaged 3.5 goals per game over the last 10 meetings.

5 – Fir Park will host the IRN-BRU Cup final for the fifth time, making it the second most common venue for the final behind McDiarmid Park. Motherwell was a popular choice in the early years of the competition, playing host to three of the first four finals, but this will be the first since 1997/98. Dundee United have recorded six wins in their last eight visits to Fir Park, while Saints have not won there since February 2011.