THE William Hill Scottish Cup threw up just once shock on Saturday with holders St Johnstone crashing out at Championship side Queen of the South.
As predicted there were fairly routine wins for Celtic, Falkirk and Hibs and I also tipped non-league Spartans not to lose at home to Berwick and their hopes remain alive after a 1-1 draw.
Inverness won the all-Premiership tie against Partick Thistle and by all accounts should have been more comprehensive winners. Midfielder Marley Watkins hit the opener and with Billy Mckay gone he looks as if he’ll be their main goal threat – so look out for him.
There are two more ties on Sunday with Rangers facing Raith and Dundee United making the long trip to League One oufit Stranraer.
Three of the five players Rangers took on loan from Newcastle – Gael Bigirimana, Remie Streete and Haris Vuckic – are expected to make their debut. From what I’ve read the Toon 5 will strengthen the side but you don’t know what to expect from Rangers these days with all the off-field uncertainty and doubts over how long boss Kenny McDowall will last in a jov he’s already resigned from.
I’m not keen on Rangers at a best 1-3 with the likes of Paddy Power and Ladbrokes but they have netted 10 goals in two matches against the Fifers this season so should succeed. For anyone wanting to back against the Ibrox side you can have 9-1 on Raith at bet365 and 3-1 with the same firm not to lose.
Dundee Utd start life without Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong aiming to keep their treble hopes alive. The Tannadice outfit signed Paul Dixon and Robbie Muirhead but the latter is injured.
The two leavers will be missed but United have enough quality to get through this tie and are backable at a best 4-9 with bet365 and William Hill. Stranraer have dangerous forwards such as Jamie Longworth and Craig Malcolm and could score so I’m taking over 3.5 goals at 7-5 with BetVictor.
For first scorer I’ll be on Nadir Ciftci who netted the winner as United beat Aberdeen to reach the League Cup Final last weekend. Ciftci is 7-2 at bet365 and William Hill.
Rangers v Raith
Loan players Gael Bigirimana, Remie Streete and Haris Vuckic should all make their debuts if fit. Caretaker boss Kenny McDowall revealed on Thursday the club’s board had ordered him to play all five players following their arrivals from Newcastle until the end of the season. Northern Ireland winger Shane Ferguson and Swiss defender Kevin Mbabu have also joined the beleaguered Ibrox outfit but are carrying injuries which will keep them out of action for several weeks.
Raith cannot field on-loan Rangers player Barrie Mckay but Dale Carrick, who joined last week on loan from Hearts is in manager Grant Murray’s plans. Calum Elliot is the Kirkcaldy side’s only doubt.
Stranraer v Dundee United
Stranraer are without striker Jon McShane who is cup-tied after playing for East Fife earlier this season, with Steven Bell missing out through suspension. Experienced winger Willie Gibson is doubtful after going down with flu earlier in the week.
Paul Dixon is set for a return to United action after re-signing for the club on Monday from Huddersfield but fellow newcomer Robbie Muirhead is ineligible after playing for Kilmarnock in the previous round. Blair Spittal (groin) is a doubt while John Souttar (ankle) and Mario Bilate (hamstring) are still sidelined.