Scottish Cup predictions and second round preview
REGAN Parsons, a trainee sports journalist, gives his lowdown on the weekend action in the William Hill Scottish Cup 2nd round.
Some tasty fixtures were pulled out of the pot for the second round of the Scottish Cup with games such as league leaders Bonnyrigg Rose vs Buckie Thistle who go head to head. Also there is the famous underdog story from last year, Auchinleck Talbot who take on League 2 leaders Cove Rangers.
Overall,16 games are taking place over the weekend with two of them being played on a Friday evening and one game being played on a Sunday afternoon. The rest on Saturday.
The first game to start off this second round is Bonnyrigg Rose vs Buckie Thistle at New Dundas Park, These two clubs are currently both top of their leagues with Bonnyrigg leading the way in the Lowland League and Buckie first in the Highland League. Buckie's manager, Graeme Stewart states that Buckie go in as underdogs for this game as the tie is being played away from home.
Will Buckie hold their nerve against an in-form Bonnyrigg side?
Edinburgh City's three game winning streak came to an end against Cowdenbeath over the weekend. However, the team are looking forward to a Friday night cup tie against Aberdeen side, Banks O' Dee. The Edinburgh side have home advantage and are favourites to beat the junior side. Will Banks O' Dee cause an upset?
Auchinleck Talbot were the underdogs last year, beating the likes of Fraserburgh, Cove Rangers and Ayr to earn a place in the 5th round against Hearts at Tynecastle on national television. In order to have the same success they had last year, they will need to defeat Cove once more. Last year, these two faced up in the second round and drew 1-1 in Aberdeen but in the replay, Auchinleck Talbot came out on top with a 2-1 victory. Will it be a different scoreline this time?
Last year in the Scottish cup, Stenhousemuir held Premiership giants Aberdeen to a 1-1 draw at Pittodire. Stenhousemuir had a respectable tournament last year, beating Falkirk 4-2 and taking Aberdeen to a replay which resulted in a 4-1 defeat to the Dons at home. The Warriors didn't perform well in the league last year as they were relegated to League 2. As a result, they will play in the second round of the cup against Penicuik Athletic.
Queens park are on a three game losing streak in League 2 which resulted in them dropping to seventh place with them being just three points above the relegation zone. However, the Glasgow side take on Spartans who are currently mid-table of the Lowland league.
Albion Rovers take on Fort William who managed to get their first victory in over two years against Clach. Will they be able to pull off another surprising victory against the League 2 side?
Annan Athletic v Brechin City is a League 2 clash which could be described as the biggest game of the weekend.
Both Annan and Brechin are in the lower reaches of the league which could mean that this might be a close call to predict a winner.
Clachnacuddin take on Brora Rangers, both teams are in the highland league with a 12 place gap between the two. Brora are second in the league and Clach are 15th. The last time these two faced each other was in the league and Brora managed to win 5-0 away from home. Will it be a different outcome this time?
Cowdenbeath are currently six games undefeated in league 2 and are catching up to leaders Cove Rangers who lost their undefeated record at the weekend. The Blue Brazil are on exceptional form at the moment and will surely progress to the third round with a win over Broxburn Athletic, or is there a cause for an upset?
East Kilbride take on Gretna on Saturday afternoon. Gretna haven't managed a single win in the league this season and the last time these two met, the scoreline was 5-0 to East Kilbride. Will it be the same result Saturday?
Elgin city have just managed to qualify for the next round of the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Cup with a deserved victory over League 1 side, Airdrieonians. This will build massive confidence for the Scottish cup tie on Saturday against Lowland league side Berwick Rangers. Berwick have only managed to win one game in the league this season which could build pressure on the players.
Gala Fairydean Rovers' last five games have been pretty poor with the side losing four games and only managing to gain one point in the Lowland league. They take on Formartine United at the weekend with Formartine sitting comfortably at sixth place in the Highland league.
Lochee United take on BSC Glasgow on Saturday. BSC Glasgow are on fine form at the moment with the club being undefeated in their last five games in the Lowland league, can they improve on their form against small club Lochee?
Rothes v Inverurie Loco works is a battle between two sides in the top half of the Highland league with just two points separating them.
Stirling Albion are currently rock bottom in the League 2 table despite being undefeated in four games. They take on Strathspey Thistle at the weekend who are currently in poor form.
University of Stirling vs Linithgow Rose is the only game that's being played on a Sunday. Stirling Uni are on a three game losing streak.
My predictions for this weekend:
Edinburgh City 6-1 Banks O' Dee
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic 2-2 Buckie Thistle
Auchinleck Talbot 1-3 Cove Rangers
Penicuik Athletic 0-2 Stenhousemuir
Spartans 1-2 Queens Park
Albion Rovers 5-0 Fort William
Annan 2-2 Brechin
Clachnacuddin 1-4 Brora Rangers
Cowdenbeath 7-0 Broxburn Athletic
East Kilbride 6-0 Gretna 2008
Elgin City 3-1 Berwick Rangers
Formartine United 0-0 Gala Fairydean Rovers
Lochee United 1-5 BSC Glasgow
Rothes 3-3 Inverurie Loco Works
Stirling Albion 2-0 Strathspey Thistle
University of Stirling 1-1 Linlithgow Rose