Blogs & Opinion


Scottish Cup quarter-finals: St Johnstone and Rangers to earn victories in Sky Live games

Andy Walker - Andy Walker Posted 4th March 2014 view comments

Places in the semi-finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup are up for grabs this weekend, live on Sky Sports, as Championship side Raith Rovers entertain St Johnstone at Starks Park on Saturday before Rangers host League two side Albion Rovers at Ibrox on Sunday.

Grant Murray's Raith caused a huge upset in the last round when they travelled to Edinburgh to play Terry Butcher's Hibernian side and won more comfortably than the 3-2 scoreline suggests.

Rovers are currently four points clear of a relegation play-off spot in the Championship but as they showed against Hibs, they are capable of raising their game when bigger and better sides are put in front of them.

Super Stevie: May has been in the goals for St Johnstone this term

Super Stevie: May has been in the goals for St Johnstone this term

I travelled to Kirkcaldy recently to see them play and they are served well by the experienced players in their team.

Right-back Jason Thomson is their leader and captain and alongside left -back Calum Booth, offers a lot of penetration when driving forward.

Joe Cardle and John Baird have recent experience of life in Scotland's top flight and this core group of players will have to be at their best if Raith are to cause yet another upset.

Preston were very keen on May in January and a fresh approach is on the cards.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

Tommy Wright has made a promising start to his reign as St Johnstone boss since succeeding Steve Lomas and a place in the last four is within their grasp.

Dave Mackay has played to a consistently high level for a number of years now and it has given the whole team a lift to see the impact striker Stevie May has had this season.

At 21, May has improved enormously over the course of the season and with 24 goals already, it's no surprise to note the attention he is attracting from clubs in England.

The likelihood is he'll try his luck down south and move on in the summer - Preston North End were very keen to get him in January to bolster their hopes of promotion to the Championship and a fresh approach is on the cards.

Dominate

On Sunday, Rangers should have more than enough to take care of lowly Albion.

I still find it hard to believe that Albion were able to beat Motherwell in an earlier round of the cup but a tie at Ibrox against a side who have steamrollered their way to the League One title this season is surely more than they could hope for.

As has been the case for two years now, events off the pitch at Rangers continue to dominate the headlines.

Former director Dave King has accused the current board of treating the fans like dirt and has taken the extraordinary stand of encouraging all supporters to withhold their season ticket money, due to be paid shortly.

Whatever anyone thinks of King, the truth is that the £22million raised in the recent share issue is gone, while everyone seems to accept there will be less than £1million in the Ibrox coffers by April.

Not so long ago, Walter Smith described the Rangers board as dysfunctional and still no one can say with any degree of certainty who really controls the immediate future of the club.

On the park, the Scottish Cup gives Ally McCoist the opportunity of securing his first major trophy as Rangers boss.

With Hampden Park out of commission due to the Commonwealth Games, both semi-finals will take place at Ibrox with the final at Celtic Park.

My four to be in the draw are Aberdeen, Dundee United, St Johnstone and Rangers.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

C Palace v Liverpool preview

Liverpool go back to Crystal Palace for the first time since last season's remarkable 3-3 draw.

Hull v Tottenham preview

Hull City's Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore come up against former club Tottenham.

Souness: Arsenal so vulnerable

Man Utd exploited Arsenal’s vulnerability to counter-attacks to score a crucial win, says Graeme Souness.

Premier League round-up

Manchester United climbed into the top four in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory at Arsenal.

Moyes pleased with first point

Coach David Moyes was ‘pleased overall’ by Real Sociedad's goalless draw on his La Liga debut away at Deportivo.

Features

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's form at 34 sees him making fewer goals, tackles, interceptions and runs

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's form at 34 sees him making fewer goals, tackles, interceptions and runs

Last November, Steven Gerrard spent this international week captaining England to a Wembley defeat against Germany. A year earlier there was the 4-2 reverse in Sweden as Zlatan Ibrahimovic had his wicked way with Ryan Shawcross and the rest. Maybe Gerrard wasn’t missing it too much.

Premier League: Liverpool still struggling to learn the lessons from their 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace in May

Premier League: Liverpool still struggling to learn the lessons from their 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace in May

If Liverpool’s limp attempts to claw their way back onto level terms against Chelsea saw them sleepwalking to second spot, the implosion at Selhurst Park was the moment they woke from the dream.

Hull v Tottenham: Three Tigers players fired up to face former side Spurs on Super Sunday

Hull v Tottenham: Three Tigers players fired up to face former side Spurs on Super Sunday

Tottenham will come up against three familiar faces – and three men with a point to prove – when they head to Hull on Super Sunday.