This is the cup nobody wants to win… until it gets to the Quarter Finals … and suddenly everyone wants to progress and make a national final … At least that’s the impression given. It is the one trophy not in the Ibrox (or whatever the stadium is to be called) cabinet. Ally McCoist, as his team have players away on international duty, sit out this weekend’s round of ties and we have three cracking games for those who want a Saturday fix of excitement before Scotland play Germany on Sunday.
Match of the Day
Stranraer v Falkirk
To be honest any one of the three quarter finals could have qualified as match of the day but I chose this one because it genuinely looks like an intriguing tie. Falkirk have had a tough old time of it in the league but managed to beat Hibs before getting gubbed by Hearts 4-1 last weekend; it makes them vulnerable. Stranraer have had good and decent runs in the cup of late and taken a few Championship scalps along the way. Stephen Aitken seems to be able to get his team up for the cup on a regular basis. They lost narrowly to Dunfermline last Saturday and I would expect, that notwithstanding, they will be ready for today’s encounter. Falkirk boss, Peter Houston added to the squad this week and it is expected that only Joe Shaughnessy, on loan from Aberdeen, is eligible to play in this tie. Houston looks like he shall make some changes following the Hearts defeat with Luke Leahy and Rory Boulding likely to start. Still out are Kieran Duffie, Thomas Grant and Lewis Small. Stranraer have Willie Gibson and on loan Daniel Stoney, from Rangers, straight into their team. Both have struggled in their respective leagues but I reckon the Bairns should shade what ought to be a very decent contest.
Greenock Morton v Alloa Athletic has the home side hoping to bounce back after their five goal thriller against Forfar last weekend where they lost out by the odd goal. Jim Duffy’s side have not had the perfect start to their league campaign but there is evidence of progress for the Ton, under his stewardship. For Alloa they will be buzzing after their 2-1 win against Hibernian which sees them just below the playoffs. On paper it looks very much like the away side would take this but I reckon Jim Duffy might have an interest in the semi final draw after today. Finally Peterhead v Livingston is a fascinating tie between Jim McInally’s side and John McGlynn’s. The Blue Toon are making a decent fist of things in League One whilst the Lions blasted Hearts in the last round but lost by a single goal last weekend against Dumbarton in the league. They have made a less than stellar start to their league campaign but they have a far more competitive league in which they find themselves. It makes for a nervy quarter final for them and I reckon they might struggle up north and Peterhead might shade it…