Friday, January 11, 2008

Scotland Weekend Preview

Welcome to the least-attention-paid post of the day. Scotland takes a break from league play (but not from transfer inanity) to grace us with some North of the Border cup action. It's time for the Fourth Round of the Scottish Cup, which is where the Premier League comes in (Does this sound familiar to anyone?). In the interest of maintaining at least some readership, I'll only highlight a handful of the 16 matches.

Queen of the South v. Linlithgow Rose "Who are these teams?", you ask. "Exactly", I answer. QotS play in the First Division, and in recent years they have struggled to maintain their place therein. They do, however, answer to one of the most awesome nicknames in football, the Doonhammers. QotS is not the reason that anyone cares about this match, Linlithgow Rose is. This season is the first time that Junior clubs have been allowed into the cup, and Linlithgow is the only Junior club to make it this far. While I had always assumed that Junior club meant it was strictly for teens, this is not the case. The distinction is in fact that Junior clubs are not in the same league system as the Senior clubs. Linlithgow looks to have a mix of young and old players on their squad. If they win, I'll do a full team profile in their honor.

Falkirk v. Aberdeen Not a cut and paste from last week. Since that 0-0 draw at the same venue, Aberdeen has received word that three first-team players will not re-sign with the squad for next season. This has led to speculation that manager Jimmy Calderwood, also out of contract in the off-season, will move on. Look for Falkirk to end its 17-games-without-a-win-streak to a distracted Dons squad.

Rangers v. East Stirlingshire Easily the mismatch of the round. As I've mentioned before, East Stirlingshire is not so good, finishing at the foot of the entire league for 5 years in succession. Rangers leads the SPL. They saved this game for Sunday so everyone can look and laugh at the slaughter at Ibrox. Luckily for East Stirlingshire, the cup record for defeat is 36-0, something that they are not likely to face.

There are two other all-SPL ties, with Hearts hosting Motherwell, and Hibernian entertaining Inverness Caley Thistle. So it will be a busy football Saturday in Edinburgh.

Update: 7 of Saturday's 15 matches have been postponed due to "Frozen pitch". Kinda like your mom, but with a "p". Also, 10 minutes in, Aberdeen is up 1-2. HA!

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