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Summary

  1. Aberdeen players desperate for another trophy - Adam Rooney
  2. No European football for Celtic after Christmas
  3. Scotland fall to 67th in the world rankings

Live Reporting

By Keir Murray and Thomas McGuigan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodbye

    Thanks for your company today. Join us tomorrow as we build-up to the weekend's Premiership action, Sunday's League Cup final and bring you the rest of the news from Scottish football as it happens.

    Goodbye.

  2. And on the rugby front...

    Here's who head coach Vern Cotter has chosen to play Georgia at Rugby Park on Saturday in the third of Scotland's 2016 autumn Tests.

    View more on twitter
  3. When training pays off...

    Richard Wilson

    BBC Scotland

    Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon says his brilliant save to deny Barcelona striker Luis Suarez was a training ground drill.

    He spent time in the build-up to the Champions League tie working with goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods on stopping a goal from that specific move.

    Gordon also believes that Celtic have proved they can compete at Champions League level and should feel equal to the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City, who are also in Group C, even though the 2-0 defeat last night knocked Celtic out of European competition this season.

    "Hopefully that [save] will be in the highlights reel at the end of my career," Gordon said. "It's something we worked on during the week, the speed across goal, and that was how Barcelona get a lot of their goals.

    "My goalkeeping coach had me well prepped for that type of thing to happen. We were doing similar exercises to that in the days leading up to it, not too many saves in training, but eventually I got the one that really mattered.

    "We've played some really top-quality teams you would expect to go quite far in the competition. We were probably a little unfortunate in how strong the group was, but they were great games to play in.

    "We've definitely improved as the campaign's gone on and we've been a real test for the teams we've come up against. Hopefully we can build on that and go into next year's European campaign even stronger.

    "Our performances have been good enough. We can compete at this level. There's nothing I've seen in any of the games that suggests we're inferior to anyone else in our group.

    "We didn't pick up enough points, but the performances were good and if we can add to that and continue to progress as a group, we can do better next season."

    Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon denies Barcelona striker Luis Suarez
    Image caption: Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon denies Barcelona striker Luis Suarez
  4. Celtic await news on Sinclair injury

    Celtic should find out later today or tomorrow morning whether Scott Sinclair will be fit for Sunday's League Cup final against Aberdeen. The Parkhead winger was substituted at half-time of last night's Champions League defeat to Barcelona after being fouled by Jordi Alba. Sinclair is being scanned to determine the severity of the hamstring injury.

    Scott Sinclair
  5. Get Involved - Scotland's world ranking fall

    #bbcsportscot

    Michael Mackenzie: "Not long before we're out of the top 100 and Strachan given a new contract."

    Graham Munro: "No exactly a shock lets be honest."

    Archie McLean: "Surprised we're still in the rankings..."

  6. 'Stop talking and give them the ball'

    Brian McLauchlin

    BBC Sport Scotland

    As Scotland slide to 67th in the Fifa rankings, Dundee boss Paul Hartley has told BBC Scotland that he believes the problem is not the national team itself but the system that feeds it.

    He thinks the academy system in Scottish football isn't giving young players enough opportunities to improve and this is preventing the game from developing properly.

    "The problems lie below the national team," Hartley explained.

    "We have to strip it back. We have to make sure in years to come we can produce better young players. We have to change the system we use just now. We have to look at the whole academy system and get young players playing more football and giving them more game time."

    Hartley claims one of the biggest problems is keeping young players interested because they are being discarded from their clubs at an early age.

    He continued: "We are putting too much pressure on the kids now and then telling them they are not good enough. That's not the way it should work. We are telling kids aged 10,11 and 12 they are not good enough. It's terrible. I was told at 16 I wasn't good enough but managed to get into Hamilton. 

    "Being rejected didn't hold me back as I had a decent career but I had been in the system for a while. Now young kids are not in the system long enough and they fall out of love with football.

    "The players are molly-coddled too much in the academy. Not just one academy, the whole academy system. We are trying to make them robots and they are not robots. We speak to them too much, just let them enjoy the game. I wasn't coached until I went to Hearts or Celtic. I did alright.

    "If you are going to be a (professional) player, you will be a player. If not, you won't be. That's the bottom line. It doesn't matter what level they play at, just let them enjoy it. Give them lots of the ball. That's the problem - they don't have the ball often enough. We want to talk too much. It's time to stop talking and give them the ball."

    Dundee manager Paul Hartley
  7. Dons desperate for silverware

    Tom English

    BBC Sport Scotland

    "On Sunday, Aberdeen will try to win the League Cup for the second time under manager Derek McInnes. Unlike last time, they're underdogs. Just the same as last time, they're bringing big numbers. They'll travel in hope, if not expectation..."

    Read more of Tom's piece ahead of Sunday's League Cup final here    

    Aberdeen supporters
    Image caption: The Dons will be hoping to beat Celtic in Sunday's League Cup final
  8. Get Involved

    Here's what visitors to our Facebook page have been saying about Scotland falling 10 places to 67th in the world rankings...

    John Kerr: "If they keep Strachan for the whole of the campaign we could be very near 100th position by the end of it."

    Douglas Bell: "And we are surprised? Let's be honest, we have been short on any type of decent performance for a long time."

    Frank Love: "We shouldn't be too despondent, we are only one place lower than the mighty Benin."

  9. Barca v Celtic v Aberdeen

    Richard Wilson

    BBC Scotland

    Celtic are caught between extremes. Against Barcelona in the Champions League last night, they had to try to bridge a competitive gap built upon the greater earning power that allows the Spanish side to pay huge salaries to some of the best players in the world.

    On Sunday, Celtic will look to make their advantage over Aberdeen – a higher wage bill, and so better players, enabled by their higher earning power – in the Betfred Cup final. Celtic dominate in Scotland currently, but are underdogs in Europe, a dichotomy that the manager Brendan Rodgers will seek to address through shrewd recruitment and coaching.

    According to the 2016 Global Sports Salaries Survey by the SportingIntelligence website, the average annual player salary at Celtic is £717,860. That is around six times the average annual salary at Aberdeen, which is £134,670. By comparison, the average annual salary at Barcelona is £5.6m, or around eight times the Celtic figure.

    Aberdeen take on Celtic in the Betfred Cup final on Sunday
    Image caption: Aberdeen take on Celtic in the Betfred Cup final on Sunday
  10. Neilson calls for patience over Hearts' summer recruits

    Brian McLauchlin

    BBC Sport Scotland

    Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson insists the strikers he brought to the club in the summer will eventually find their way to scoring regularly.

    Neilson bolstered his squad by signing Tony Watt, Bjorn Johnsen, Connor Sammon and Robbie Muirhead but between them they have been able to find the back of the net on only four occasions in 15 competitive games this season.

    "Its still very early in the season," Neilson explained. "We are only around a third of the way through the season. It's not a huge issue at the moment. They are working hard and creating chances and working for the team. It will click in and it will work as they are all good players."

    Hearts are still second-top scorers in the league with 24 goals in the opening 13 league matches and Neilson says it can take some time for players to find their feet at their new club before you eventually get the best out of them.

    "It can take players a year here to get settled in," he told BBC Scotland. "You get judged game by game. You bring a new player in and he gets judged in two minutes with his first touch of the ball. That's just the way football is nowadays. You are asking guys to come in sometimes from different continents with different styles to come to Scotland and just click into 100 hundred miles an hour football on Astroturf. It's difficult."

    Hearts forward Bjorn Johnsen has scored twice in 11 matches for the Jambos this season
    Image caption: Hearts forward Bjorn Johnsen has scored twice in 11 matches for the Jambos this season
  11. More on those rankings

    Now, Scotland may have dropped 10 places to 67 in the latest Fifa world rankings, but it is not the team's worst position. That came in 2005, when Scotland were the 88th best team in the world. We're just letting that stat swirl around our heads for a moment. We're wondering if we can even name another 87 countries, never mind ones that are better at football than us!

    Gordon Strachan's side are currently second bottom of their World Cup qualifying group following the 3-0 defeat by England on 11 November.

    The Scots won three and drew one of their eight games in 2016 and now find themselves sandwiched between Benin and Guinea-Bissau in the rankings.

    Scotland host Slovenia in their next World Cup qualifier in March before the return meeting with England at Hampden in June.

    Full story.

    This is what it can feel like being a Scotland fan
    Image caption: This is what it can feel like being a Scotland fan
  12. We'll be back, promises Celtic's Brown

    Liam McLeod

    BBC Sport Scotland

    Celtic captain Scott Brown insists the team will be back in the Champions League next year after they exited Europe with a game to play.

    The Scottish champions' 2-0 home defeat by Barcelona, thanks to Lionel Messi's killer double, means they will finish bottom of Group C.

    "Getting to this stage is great for us but we want to try and push on as much as we possibly can," he said.

    "We're disappointed we're not in Europe after Christmas, but we'll be back."

    Full story.

    Scott Brown