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FC Barcelona v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League...BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 23: Giorgos Samaras (L) of Celtic FC celebrates scoring with his teammates Mikael Lustig (R) and Efe Ambrose during the UEFA Champions League group G match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium on October 23, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)...S

FC Barcelona v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League...BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 23: Giorgos Samaras (L) of Celtic FC celebrates scoring with his teammates Mikael Lustig (R) and Efe Ambrose during the UEFA Champions League group G match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium on October 23, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)...S

FC Barcelona v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League...BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 23: Giorgos Samaras (L) of Celtic FC celebrates scoring with his teammates Mikael Lustig (R) and Efe Ambrose during the UEFA Champions League group G match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium on October 23, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)...S

CELTIC defender Mikael Lustig admits Celtic are the favourites to land the Scottish Cup – but warns they will fall flat on their faces if they focus only on Hibernian striker Leigh Griffiths.

The Parkhead defender has been impressed by the performances of the 28-goal Scotland striker this term.

Griffiths – on loan from Wolves – has been rewarded with his stunning goalscoring record with both the Clydesdale Bank and Scottish Football Writers' Association player of the year prizes.

He could also become the first Leith player in 40 years to strike 30 times in a season if he musters a double in Sunday's Hampden final. But Lustig insists it would be an act of folly to ignore the rest of the Hibs team, even if Celtic are expected to take the trophy home for the 36th time.

He said: "Griffiths is a really good player. When we played Hibs at Easter Road, he got the goal. But there are 10 more Hibs players we have to focus on. I don't think we will have a focus just on him."

The Mount Florida showdown will be Celtic's 59th match after claiming the Scottish Premier League flag, reaching the last 16 of the Champions League and marching to the semi-finals of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

 

Youngest

With an average age of 24.7 years old, the Hoops' squad is the third youngest in the SPL but Lustig believes Lennon's fresh-faced troops will be primed to do even better next term.

He said: "Having one more year (under our belt) will make us one more year experienced. Next season we want to do well in Europe. We don't want to be the team that had just one good year. But we have to focus on finishing off this season before we can talk about next year."

Hibernian skipper James McPake knows Celtic will be wary of Griffiths.

The former Livingston and Coventry defender said: "We have the best striker in the league and I have said that all season.

"I have no doubt in my head that Celtic will be as fearful of Leigh Griffiths as we are of any of their players. I don't know if we need them to have an off-day but we have to be at our best."

Asked if there was an obsession about the Scottish Cup at Hibs, given its absence from Easter Road since 1902, McPake, who joined the club on a permanent deal last summer from Coventry after a loan-spell, said: "I think there is, yes. Even in the early rounds there is a buzz."


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