Rangers vs Hearts: Scottish Cup Final live stream, TV channel, PPV, referee, team news and kick-off time
What channel is Rangers v Hearts Scottish Cup match on? Kick off time, live stream and latest team news
Ann Budge insists Hearts don't have to win the Scottish Cup for her as she reveals pre-2020 feeling against Celtic
Who will win Rangers vs Hearts? Our writers make their predictions for the Scottish Cup final showdown
Rangers face Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish Cup final looking to put behind them the disappointment of coming within a whisker of Europa League glory on Wednesday.
Ann Budge admits she doesn’t quite agree with Hearts fans who tell her the club must win the Scottish Cup for her.
The Tynecastle chairman, who sold her majority stake in the club to the Foundation of Hearts back in August, but will be back in the directors box at Hampden for her third final in four years as they take on Rangers.
The Jambos have guaranteed European group stage football to look forward to next season as the club goes from strength to strength off the pitch as well as on it.
A silver lining to cap an excellent campaign would be wonderful for the maroon half of Edinburgh, but Budge doesn't share the view of fans that she is the inspiration to beat the Gers at the national stadium.
She told the Scotsman: “Quite a lot of supporters have said ‘we have got to win this Ann, we’ve got to win it for you’. I don’t see it that way. But I think we all agree that whatever the reason, winning it would be great!”
Budge was one of the 250,000 Hearts fans who lined the streets back in 1998 after the two sides last met at this stage of the competition.
Jim Jefferies’ side ended a 36-year wait for a trophy on what for many supporters of a certain age, remains the pinnacle of following the boys in maroon.
Budge admits she didn't have the same passion for the club then that has since taken a hold over the years, but it laid the foundations for her to effectively save the club 16 years later.
“I remember standing at Haymarket with rather a lot of other people and my dad phoned me,” she recalled. “He was staying with me at the time. He was a Hibs supporter but he always wanted Hearts to win as long as we weren’t playing them. He’d watched the game and several hours had passed so he phoned me to ask where we were. I think he had visions of my daughter leading me astray!
“I think that day did help because you see what it means to people and you began to understand why. To win a game like that, against the odds, gets the juices flowing.”
Last season's Scottish Cup 'campaign' was an aberration in the context of the last four years.
An embarrassing defeat to Highland Brora Rangers had some fans calling for Robbie Neilson’s head.
Budge resisted the temptation to act ruthlessly then, and she has been rewarded for it this season.
And she just hopes that the feeling she had before the 2020 final against Celtic manifests itself two years on.
“It wasn’t nice, but it affected others more than me. People who know me know that I try not to get too up or too down and Robbie is the same,” she said. “But winning games always helps and this season has been a good season.
“We have had a couple of finals recently – this is the third Scottish Cup final in four seasons – that haven’t gone our way.,
“I admit, I did think we were going to do it in the last one, but I don’t get nervous until I'm at the game.
“When we scored in the last final to get to the penalty situation I remember thinking ‘we’ve done it this time, we’ve definitely done it’. But the last 20 minutes of the game were so nerve-wracking, just like it was for every other fan and to lose was gutting.”
Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side missed out on the club's second European trophy after a penalty shoot-out defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.
Robbie Neilson's Hearts have, meanwhile, had a week to mull over losing 3-1 at home to a shadow Rangers side in the final Scottish Premiership game of the season.
The Edinburgh club finished third, one place behind their Glasgow rivals in the table, but that Tynecastle defeat stretched the gap between the two teams to 28 points.
Rangers will therefore be strong favourites to record a fourth successive win this season over their capital opponents and lift the world's oldest football trophy for a 34th time.
Hearts, eyeing their ninth Scottish Cup triumph, will hope to benefit should physical and emotional exhaustion kick in for the men in light blue at Hampden.
Both sides have already secured European group stage football no matter the result. Rangers will play in the Champions League qualifiers, with the Europa League as a safety net, while Hearts are guaranteed a Conference League section if they fail to come through the middle-rank tournament's qualifiers.
However, having relinquished the league title to city rivals Celtic and lost in Seville, Van Bronckhorst's side are under particular pressure not to finish a promising season without a trophy.
Rangers left-back Borna Barisic will miss the final with the injury that him off towards the end of the Europa League final.
As in previous rounds, back-up Jon McLaughlin will start instead of first-choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor, while Filip Helander, Ianis Hagi and Alfredo Morelos are long-term injury absentees.
Hearts' midfielder Peter Haring and forwards Liam Boyce and Ellis Simms picked up knocks in last weekend's league defeat by Rangers but all three are in contention to play.
Defenders Craig Halkett and John Souttar have returned from injury in recent weeks, but Beni Baningime is out long term.
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst: "We had a tough game with 120 minutes in difficult heat, but we had a good recovery today.
"All our focus is on the final and we have to support each other as a family to be ready for the final. We didn't get the outcome we wanted, but I have a lot of confidence in my team.
"Jon [McLaughlin] did really well in all the games we played, especially in the semi-final against Celtic, so for me it would be strange to change him. He will still have the confidence from me."
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson: "I've got a rough idea what my team will be. You obviously want your full squad to be fully fit and having played five or 10 games to be ready for it. We don't have that.
"It's a case of deciding who is in form, who's coming back and is fit enough to play, whether they start or come on, so there are a lot of different aspects to look at." fhdsdt