Don't dare ask John Hughes to choose who is going to win the Scottish Cup between Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Hampden this Saturday. 

Out of love and professional respect for both clubs, he simply won't do it.

He promises one thing and one thing only...goals!

The former Celtic defender and Inverness manager has split loyalties when it comes to the two sides. Hughes enjoyed a wonderful personal campaign under Tommy Burns in season 1995/96 where he scored an equaliser in a Glasgow Derby at Ibrox and established himself as a firm fan-favourite in green and white.

As for Inverness, well, that's a different story.

Hughes led the Highlanders to their greatest-ever triumph the Scottish Cup final success of 2015 which included defeating Ronny Deila's Celtic at the same stage.

The 58-year-old believes that Inverness will absorb a lot of punches but can they get up and recover from every blow that Celtic inflict?

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Hughes said: "I am honest enough to say that there are going to be goals in the Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Inverness. That's what wins you games. Celtic are very, very good at scoring goals.

"If Inverness were taking any inspiration from a drop in levels at Celtic then that theory has been blown out of the water. You can forget about Celtic being in a slump.

"This is the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park and there is going to be goals. If Inverness have their game plan and they stick to it that's not to say that they won't score on the big occasion.

"Billy Dodds just has to take a leaf out of Ange Postecoglou's book and stick to his own process. 

"There will be goals and if Celtic score first then things don't really change as Inverness have to keep to their game plan. If Inverness score first they can't let that frighten them. A lot of teams go to Hampden against one of the Glasgow clubs and score first then freeze and they don't know what to do and that becomes their undoing.

"Even if Celtic score two then Inverness need to hang in there for as long as they can and stay in the contest. If Celtic score more than two then it is damage limitation stuff at that point.

"Inverness' mindset has to be that they can nick a goal and win the game. You'll be surprised that things like that can take you where you want to go, especially in one-off games like cup finals.

"It is like a boxer. I have seen many a boxer get knocked down and get up and win the fight. That's the mentality that Inverness will need to have. They might get knocked down and sprawled across the Hampden Park canvas but can they remain in the fight for the duration?"

Hughes refuses to pay lip service to his former charges by waxing lyrical about their achievement in getting there. He doesn't buy into the great day-out ethos either. Cup finals are for winning.

Hughes said: "I am not going to patronise Inverness and say it is a great achievement for them getting to the Scottish Cup final - we all know it is - but you have to go again and stand up and be counted.

"Cup finals are for winners. They are not days out and all this nonsense that it is great for the club is a defeatist attitude and mindset if you ask me.

"You have to enjoy the occasion but if you are not waking up with butterflies in the stomach and the adrenaline pumping then you should not be on the Hampden pitch.

"You are testing yourself against the best players in Scotland and it cannot spook you. I get that Inverness are playing Glasgow Celtic and Ange Postecoglou's team are champions for a reason. Inverness are playing against one of the best Celtic teams that I have seen for a long time but you cannot feel inferior in any shape or form."

Having predicted that there is going to be goals, Hughes pinpointed one man that could well prove the vital spark and matchwinner come the weekend.

The former Falkirk and Hibs manager rates lethal striker Kyogo Furuhashi so highly. The Japan attacker has bulged the net 33 times and counting in this campaign already.

Hughes like many admirers marvels at the 28-year-old's intelligence and movement. However, it is one quality above all else that impresses Hughes the most and that is Kyogo's humility.

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Hughes said: "I pick up on a lot of stuff and I know when players are not for me or whatever but Kyogo is a very humble footballer. "That is one of the best traits a footballer can have. 

"Ange talks about having character in his dressing room and he knows that characters are winners but most of all they are humble and they stay grounded. Kyogo is a very grounded boy. 

"I was working for the BBC at Ibrox when Celtic lost 3-0 recently and Kyogo was rested in favour of Oh Hyeon-gyu. 

"We were in the stands still broadcasting after the game when everybody had packed up and gone away. 

"Celtic were doing a warm-down session with the subs that had played their part and the ones that didn't feature at all.

"Do you know who was at the front leading all the running? Kyogo.

"He was running and working the hardest despite not playing in the derby and that paints a picture for me. 

"These guys just have an amazing mindset. 

"Kyogo scores goals and does all his talking on the pitch.  It's why Postecoglou bangs on about signing people as opposed to players. Kyogo is clearly the right player as well as the right person for Postecoglou's Celtic dressing room.

"When you get an insight into Kyogo like I did at Ibrox that day it's not really hard to see why."