Blogs & Opinion


Andy Walker previews the Scottish Cup quarter-final matches involving Celtic, St Mirren, Dundee and Dundee United

Andy Walker - Andy Walker Posted 25th February 2013 view comments

All eyes in Scotland this weekend will be focused on the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-finals, with two games live on Sky.

St Mirren entertain Celtic on Saturday in Paisley while the intriguing Dundee derby takes place in Tayside on Sunday.

Celtic will secure the SPL title in record time over the next few weeks but manager Neil Lennon will undoubtedly recognise the folly of taking Danny Lennon's St Mirren lightly in a cup competition.

Lennon: Celtic boss was left frustrated by St Mirren League Cup defeat

Lennon: Celtic boss was left frustrated by St Mirren League Cup defeat

Against all the odds last month St Mirren were on top form when beating Celtic 3-2 at Hampden in the League cup semi-final, bringing an end to Celtic hopes of a domestic treble.

Treble winning seasons don't come around too often and Neil Lennon was sore at losing sight of this one.

In Steven Thomson, Gary Teale and Paul McGowan, St Mirren have the players capable of hurting Celtic. Esmael Goncalves also got on the scoresheet at Hampden in a demanding fixture and since signing him from Portuguese club Rio Ave in January Danny Lennon knows he has given his team an extra dimension up front.

Having watched Celtic tear Dundee apart at the weekend at a canter, Saturday provides them the ideal platform for revenge and to finish the season on a high with a potential Scottish Cup success.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

Live on Sky Sports

St Mirren v Celtic
12.30pm, Sat, Sky Sports 1 HD
Dundee v Dundee United
12.30pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1 HD

Having watched Celtic tear Dundee apart at the weekend at a canter, Saturday provides them with the ideal platform for revenge and to finish their season on a high with a potential Scottish Cup success.

If Fraser Forster, Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Giorgios Samaras are on their best form, Celtic could win comfortably.

Drama

Sunday's clash on Tayside is perfectly poised for some drama.

Given that Dundee prepared for their unexpected season in the top flight with First Division players on a budget to match, I have to say it was extremely harsh for the Dens Park board to sack Barry Smith after a 17-year association with the club.

I doubt whether anyone could have done a better job in the circumstances and his sacking highlights once again how brutal football management can be.

Former player John Brown has taken his place and has hardly been welcomed by fans concerned about his lack of recent managerial experience.

Many of them boycotted the Celtic game but if cup success is to be achieved the best thing the supporters can do is get behind the team and the manager for one last effort at making the season a success.

A win over near neighbours Dundee Utd would of course be the best possible start for John Brown. Appointed until the end of the season, he can buy himself some favour with what would be an unlikely cup success.

Despite being the home club, Dundee are huge underdogs for this one. I've been at both clashes this season and the truth is, United have won as comfortably as the 3-0 margins on both occasions would suggest.

Jackie McNamara has made an immediate impact at Tannadice, winning the fans over quickly with good performances; the only blip losing six goals at Celtic Park recently.

Johnny Russell, Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven have grabbed a lot of headlines this season for their flair but as well as potential Cup success on the horizon, I wouldn't rule out a strong finish to their league campaign, pushing Motherwell, Inverness Caley Thistle and St Johnstone all the way for the runners-up spot in the league.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Alan Smith

Smith: Wenger needs a striker

Arsenal are playing with one arm tied behind their back until they invest in a striker, says Alan Smith....

Jamie Redknapp

Jamie questions Remy move

Jamie Redknapp says Loic Remy will get nowhere near the Chelsea first team with Diego Costa around....

Gary Neville

Neville: Arsenal must sign a striker

Arsenal must sign a replacement for injured Olivier Giroud if they want to win the title, says Gary Neville....

Latest News RSS feeds

Transfer Deadline Day live

Radamel Falcao in Premier League link, Real Madrid target Javier Hernandez, Valencia want Alvaro Negredo and Chelsea sign Loic Remy.

Wenger coy on striker move

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has refused to rule out a move for a new striker before the close of the transfer window.

Gerrard: Luis engineered exit

Steven Gerrard knew Luis Suarez would ‘engineer’ a way out of Liverpool after biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

Falcao linked to Premier League

Monaco striker Radamel Falcao has been the subject of frenzied speculation as the transfer window enters its final day.

Liverpool shine on Mario bow

Mario Balotelli made a winning debut as Liverpool produced a dazzling performance to defeat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at White Hart Lane.

Features

Premier League: Sky Sports picks out some of the key highlights of this weekend's action

Premier League: Sky Sports picks out some of the key highlights of this weekend's action

Sky Sports casts an eye over this weekend's Premier League action and picks out some of the key highlights.

Christian Eriksen masterclass

Christian Eriksen masterclass

Type ‘Christian Eriksen free-kicks’ into your internet search engine and you will not be disappointed.