THERE has been a lot said about the Scottish Cup semi-final between Rangers and Dundee United this week - and much of it has been unnecessary to be honest.

Tannadice chairman Stephen Thompson and the SFA became embroiled in a war of words over the decision to play the game at Ibrox and the ticket allocation they would receive next month, and it quickly escalated into a very public and heated episode.

I understand United will want to fight their corner, but I can't believe they are not happy, especially when we find out that they told the SFA they couldn't sell the number of tickets initially offered.

Is there a wee bit of fear and fright there because they have to play Rangers at their own ground? There might well be.

They are getting the tickets that they asked for, they will get the Broomloan, and if they sell them then they can have the Govan West Corner as well.

I don't see why they are moaning as much. The SFA showed this week how many fans they have taken to their last semi-finals at Hampden.

So I can't see why they are suddenly talking about a 50-50 split and looking for thousands of tickets they are unlikely to sell for this game.

I don't see why they have made a big deal of it all of a sudden; it is much ado about nothing.

They will feel they are a better team than Rangers, they are facing a side that is two leagues below them, and they should just get on with it and be positive about their chances of getting into the final.

Once the talking is done and the game starts on April 12, I think it has the potential to be a really cracking semi-final.

Dundee United will want to be in the final and they will feel that they should be. I am sure they would have wanted Rangers in the draw rather than Aberdeen or St Johnstone.

Rangers' performances, at times, haven't been great in League One. This will be the first time they have had any sort of competition this season and they will have to really raise their game.

They have put together a great run of results and deserve praise for that. But United play at a higher level and will feel they are a better side and should be going through.

Jackie McNamara and his players will look forward to it, it is the biggest match of their season. They have performed well in big games this year and their highly-rated kids should relish playing at Ibrox.

There will be a huge crowd there on the day and the players will be under a lot of pressure and that is when it comes down to bottle. You can be a good player, but can you handle it when you are playing in front of big crowds?

I don't think Jackie will be fearful, he can't afford to be. We have heard the players saying that it won't faze them and they will have the biggest support they have had at Ibrox for many years.

Aberdeen went to Celtic Park and won when their fans were outnumbered so the crowd shouldn't come into it.

It is about the players, not the fans. It is great having a good support, and United will have what I am sure will be a vocal support behind them in the Broomloan Stand, but it is the players who win the game.

It is a big test for the United kids and they will have to rise to the occasion.

Gers will be in the same situation as teams they have faced in League One this season. The only way Ally McCoist's side drop points is if they have a real off-day and the opposition plays to their full potential.

If both teams play to their best, you would think United would have the slight edge. But, it is a cup tie and you only have to look at Celtic and Motherwell to see what can happen on the day.

Rangers do need a test and games like this will tell Ally whether this squad is good enough to step up into the Championship next season.

He will know soon if his players are up to the task and he will learn a lot from this tie and the Ramsdens Cup final the week before.

There is no doubt that Gers will have to up their game, they won't get away with the kind of performance that they have turned in at times in League One this season.

But, what a chance it is for Ally and the players. They could end up with a treble this year and that would be a fantastic achievement.

The fans can't wait for the game and I am sure the players will be well fired up for it and relishing the chance to play a team from the Premiership.

Ally and the staff will be getting that into the players' heads - this is the biggest game of the season and it is certainly one they can win.

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