League Cup semi-final draw: Hearts drawn against Inverness

Scottish League Cup

Aberdeen have been drawn against St Johnstone in the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup.

Hearts, who won the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road, will take on Inverness CT in the other tie.

The ties will be played on the weekend of 1 and 2 February with the final taking place on 16 March.

BBC Scotland will screen one of the ties live on television, while also providing commentary on BBC Radio Scotland and online coverage.

The Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes told BBC Scotland that he would be expecting a difficult encounter against his former club when the sides meet at Easter Road in February, although admitted that if his players fail to win the cup, he would like to see St Johnstone triumph in the final.

"I had a feeling we would draw each other. It's going to be a tough match when it comes round," said McInnes.

"If we're not going to win it, I'd like to see St Johnstone win it - at least one of us will be in the final and we'll both be doing our best to get there.

"I have a lot of good memories there and a lot of good connections there, there's a lot of good people working at St Johnstone, but when it comes around, we'll be doing everything we can to get Aberdeen in that final."

St Johnstone have played Aberdeen 26 times in cup competitions but have never won against the Dons, but McInnes insists he will not be taking February's encounter for granted.

McInnes added: "When it comes round - it's still three months away, so it's a bit bizarre talking about it, it's so far away - but hopefully when it comes round hopefully we're in good form.

"I'm expecting tough match, but one to look forward to."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright admitted that Aberdeen were probably the side everyone wanted to avoid in the draw, but suggested that perhaps the Pittodrie side would have also been keen to avoid his team on the way to the final.

"Derek might say St Johnstone is the toughest draw for them," said Wright.

"But at this stage, we're just happy to be in the semi-final and I think no matter who we would have played, it's going to be tough.

"It's going to be a tough tie, but I think at this stage, any team is going to be tough - but Aberdeen are probably the bookies favourites.

"They have a good, strong squad, but we fancy our chances to beat anyone on the day.

With the ties over three months away, Wright admits his team could take on a different shape to the one currently sitting in sixth place in the Scottish Premiership, and while he is anticipating an enjoyable encounter with Aberdeen in the semi-final, he would be focusing on the league in the short-term.

"There's a lot of league games to be played and there's a transfer window to go through as well, so one or two players could be added or leave," said Wright.

"The squads could change, but we have to put it on the back burner because there's a lot of league football to be played before then."

Hearts will face a repeat of last season's semi-final when Hearts progressed against Terry Butcher's side with a 5-4 win on penalties after the tie ended 1-1 following extra-time.

The Tynecastle side lost 3-2 in the final against St Mirren, but Hearts defender Jamie Hamill says he's hopes to triumph in this season's competition.

"It's a repeat of last season's semi-final and hopefully we can go through again to the final," said Hamill.

"I think any team in the league is going to be a tough draw, so you've just got to take it as it comes.

£At the end of the day, it is what it is, and hopefully we can go through the semi and get to the final."

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