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Scottish Cup weekend previews – Saturday 2nd November 2013

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If it’s not international weekends it’s time off for cup ties that are disrupting the rhythm and patterns of a Saturday. Actually the excitement of a cup competition can be a welcome release for some managers! So – of the ties being played on Saturday where should lower SPFL league eyes be watching?

Could be an upset…

With a midweek game that they lost Coatbridge will hope there are not sounds of an upset coming from Albion Rovers v Deveronvale. The non league side has a good record in this competition so James Ward’s side will have to be on their toes.  Sitting top of League Two might not sound like the greatest feat in the season but in East Stirlingshire v Raith Rovers the home side have blazed a trail with which it is hard to argue. Their increased confidence could cause Grant Murray’s side problems. Fraserburgh v Montrose has another team that has a good record in meeting league opposition and Montrose will have to be at their best, even at home. Stenhousemuir v Annan Athletic has less of a ring of possible upset than when I first picked it as the Warriors acquitted themselves well midweek and Annan lost in their league but Jim Chapman knows how to pull off a cup upset. Stranraer v Auchinleck Talbot is the one I will be following with interest. Stephen Aitken has done really well at Stair Park but the mighty Talbot are really up for this one. I would not be overly surprised if this goes beyond 90 minutes.

Too tight to call…

Arbroath v Brechin City is an all League One tie that ought to be close. Both sides are misfiring in the league so getting one upmanship should be an incentive. Clyde v Brora Rangers is another hard one to call. Jim Duffy’s side have eventually found consistency but it has been a hard road. Their opponents will not come down the road to lie on it! The all Championship Dumbarton v Cowdenbeath has another 2 teams having a difficult season in their league with consistency not being applied to either team. Having the pressure of the cup rather than the pressure of the league shouldn’t feel all that different – should it? Forfar Athletic v East Fife is the other all League one tie and is again between 2 teams with indifferent form in their league campaigns – hence hard to know which one to pick. Queen of the South v Hamilton Academical ought to be all about the away side who are top of the Championship but cups bring out other sides of teams. Jim McIntyre is nobody’s fool and knows a win in the cup can carry into the league for a few weeks. Turriff United v Stirling Albion is another non league/league encounter that would be easy to call if the league team was in consistent form. The Binos climbed to 2nd place mid week but they will have their work cut out to break down Turriff just 5 days later.

Advantage – league position…

The following ties ought to go by way of – In which league are you playing? Championship Alloa Athletic play Inverurie Loco Works from the Highland League and Paul Hartley will have them well marshalled/ warned! Ayr United v Queen’s Park has Mark Roberts keen to capitalise on their wee run whilst Gardner Speirs may just be happy they won in the league mid week! Culter v Berwick Rangers does have a league side in consistent form – Berwick Rangers – they should go through. Elgin City v Dunfermline Athletic has the Pars doing well in League One and likely to dispense of their League Two opponents. Finally Rangers v Airdrieonians which is the Friday night fixture should be straight forward for Ally McCoist’s side even though Gary Bollan is now in charge.

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About Author

A lifelong supporter, since seeing Alex Ferguson play for them, of Ayr United he now contributes here, at KickTalk and Ringside Reports for things sporty. He is also a theatrical type and an educationalist. As an Ayr fan he clearly can explain the inexplicable, place fanatical faith in the most fantastic of dreams and deal with dark periods of depression and disappointment. Perfect as a teacher..

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