GW 16 – Ones to Watch

Matt: Fresh from last weekend’s fun and games with the National North & South teams, GW 16 brings another different competition to the party – this time it’s the Scottish Cup (Third Round) and what a set of fixtures it’s produced! There’s going to be plenty of players already eyeing up a trip to Club 100 i would suggest!

Scotland in general looks like it could be the place to head in fact, as ‘big hitters’ Rangers, Celtic, Hearts & Hibs all have appealing looking matches too. Could we see some all Scottish selections perhaps? I’m diving straight into the cup action by recommending Forfar Athletic in their tie against BSC Glasgow. The home side are worth picking on nickname alone, one which has to rank right up there with the very best in UK football…….The Loons!! Hopefully there will be nothing silly or foolish about Forfar’s performance on Saturday, as they’ll start as big favourites against the Broomhill Sports Club side. The part timers certainly won’t be daunted by the challenge though, having not lost a game since a 3-2 defeat to Kelty Hearts way back in August! They also thrashed the wonderfully named Cumbernauld Colts in the previous round and they’ve been hammering in the goals in recent weeks. This will be an entirely different challenge though and with Forfar having netted 3 times in both their previous two home games, i firmly expect them to be among the goals again in this fixture.

You could definitely make your entire seven selections from this competition alone, but in the interests of mixing things up i’ll go elsewhere for my second tip. I’d like to say that Rangers are a safe bet in their match against Livingston at Ibrox, but having been bitten hard by this very same fixture the last time the two sides met, i’m not quite as positive as i should be! Earlier this season i had the misfortune to have The Gers on x3 away at Livi and things didn’t end well! The same fate was in store for those players who backed Celtic there a couple of weeks back, as once again Livi’s tremendous defensive home record held firm. However, Rangers are fresh off the back of a 7-1 trouncing of Motherwell and Steven Gerrard will be acutely aware that his troops’ last defeat in the league was indeed that match away at Livingston, so 3 points and a bit of payback would suit him nicely! I’m hoping for a few goals in the process, but i wouldn’t bank on another 7 goal haul from the home side here! Good luck to you all.

Ally: I’m also delving into the Scottish Cup for my first pick, which sees League One sides Arbroath and Stranraer face off at Gayfield Park. Hosts Arbroath are threatening to run away with the league this season, with 11 wins from their opening 14 matches to open up a 10 point advantage over nearest rivals Raith Rovers, while Stranraer sit in mid table. Furthermore, the Red Lichties have scored in every game so far this season and I expect they will see this as a good opportunity to progress in the Cup and land a potentially money spinning tie against one of the bigger teams in the next round, and I fully expect to see goals here today.

My other tip is another Scottish Cup tie, this time it’s mid-table Championship side Queen of the South who welcome Highland League outfit Formartine United to Dumfries. The hosts have had a mixed season so far, but at home they are at least a pretty reliable source of goals, having only failed to score once in all competitions this season. They also have the potential to score big, having hit 3 or more goals on six occasions at home already. Formartine are a team used to winning, and arrive at Palmerston having won 7 of their last 8 games, but today will mark a significant step up to the standard of opposition that the part-timers are accustomed to facing. With the Doonhammers’ scoring record at home I fully expect to see goals aplenty here! Good luck with your selections!