IT'S a big weekend of cup football north and south of the border and that's not always good news for punters.

Team news is vital but in Scotland it's less important as most sides will field full-strength line-ups because the cash collected on a cup run is important.

St Mirren and Partick Thistle get as under way on Friday night in a non-televised game on what could be a soggy Paisley pitch.

Form can go out the window in knockout ties but the Jags look difficult to oppose in Paisley. Four wins in a row were followed by a 0-0 draw at Aberdeen then last-gasp 1-0 defeat at Celtic.

Alan Archibald's men are tough to break down and that's bad news for a Buddies side whose only home win this season came against Dunfermline in the Petrofac Cup.

In the Championship they've collected three points and scored nine goals in front of their fans. New boss Alex Rae's only home outing ended in a 4-1 loss to Livingston but his men bounced back by beating Morton 1-0 away.

On that basis I'm siding with Thistle although a best price of 4-6 at William Hill and bet365 is as attractive as a night out with scary mascot Kingsley.

Thistle minus one tempts at 7-4 with Ladbrokes and McBookie but Rae is bound to have his men fired up so take the insurance of minus one Asian which returns your stake if Thistle win by one.

The three recent meetings between the sides at St Mirren Park have produced five goals so under 2.5 goals at 1-1 with Paddy Power has a good chance.

Kris Doolan is first-scorer favourite at 9-2 with William Hill and Ladbrokes after four goals in six games.

Saints' best hope of a goal will come from on-loan Aberdeen striker Lawrence Shankland. He has scored in all of three of Rae's matches in charge and is 13-2 at Ladbrokes and Hills.

Meanwhile, as the transfer race hots up McBookie make Brighton 3-1  favourites to sign in-demand Hibs striker Jason Cummings. Sheffield Wednesday are next in the betting at 4-1 with Leeds and Burnley 8-1.

A move to England looks the likely option but you can have 12-1 he joins Celtic or Rangers.

Recommended Bets

Partick Th -1 AH (7.30pm)

(11-10, bet365)

Under 2.5 goals

(1-1, Paddy Power)


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