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Friday 29th January 2016

League Cup preview in numbers

@splstats looks at some of the numbers ahead of this weekend’s League Cup semi-finals at Tynecastle and Hampden Park

@splstats looks at some of the numbers ahead of this weekend’s League Cup semi-finals at Tynecastle and Hampden Park

1 Ross County are competing in the League Cup semi-final for the first time, becoming the 32nd of the 42 current SPFL clubs who have reached that stage. Alloa Athletic are now the only side in the top two divisions who have yet to reach the last four of this competition. The Staggies have, however, reached six previous semi-finals in other national competitions, winning five of them. County have been in five Challenge Cup semi-finals, with their only defeat coming against Highland rivals Inverness in 2009/10. Their only Scottish Cup semi-final came against Sunday’s opponents Celtic back in that same season, with County famously triumphing 2-0.

86 Celtic are aiming to become record holders by reaching their 86th major cup final. The Bhoys are currently level with Rangers on 85 final appearances, having equalled the record of their Glasgow rivals by reaching the final of this competition last season. The Parkhead club have appeared in 55 Scottish Cup finals and 30 League Cup finals. Celtic have won six of their last seven League Cup semi-finals, with their only defeat coming to St Mirren in 2012/13.

9 Hibernian are competing in their first League Cup semi-final in nine years, with their last appearance at this stage coming back in 2006/07. On that occasion, like this one, they faced St Johnstone at Tynecastle, however roles were reversed with the Perth club in the second tier at that stage. Hibs ran out 3-1 winners after extra-time, and went on to defeat Kilmarnock 5-1 in the final. The Hibees have reached nine League Cup finals - only Rangers, Celtic and Aberdeen have played in more.

8 St Johnstone are aiming to reach their third League Cup final, having last progressed to that stage back in 1998/99, where they lost to Rangers. The Perth club have been regulars at the semi-final stages of both major cup competitions in recent years - they are competing in their eighth semi-final in the last decade. Only Celtic (12) have featured in more semi-finals than Saints in that period, with Aberdeen and Rangers both also having competed in eight. Saints lost the first seven of those finals, but made up for those losses by winning the Scottish Cup semi-final in 2013/14, before going on to lift the trophy.