It’s that time of year when “upset”, “giant-killer” and “shock” become the most used words in Scottish football.
As memories of Clyde’s 2006 win against Celtic or Falkirk’s slaying of Rangers just last September in the League Cup provide recent sources of inspiration for lower league players, we’ve picked out three potential shocks from this year’s Scottish Cup fourth round.
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Dundee v Kilmarnock (Saturday, 12.30pm)
Shock potential: 8/10
With seven wins from their last nine matches, third-placed Dundee are still on course for promotion from Division One. They will get a taste of life in the top flight this Saturday as they host Kilmarnock.
Killie are the SPL’s worst away side with just one win and seven away goals, so a west-coast to east-coast trip to Dens Park could well provide an upset.
The visitors will be looking for a good start to settle the nerves, but after conceding first in three consecutive games it could be Dundee who break the deadlock and hold on for a welcome victory.
Betting tip: Dundee to win @ 37/20
Cowdenbeath v Hibernian (Saturday, 3.00pm)
Shock potential: 7/10
The Division Two leaders host a Hibs side without a win in ten matches. With that in mind, Cowdenbeath could claim a scalp from the capital, especially given their own great run of form which has seen them go unbeaten in eight.
With just 19 goals scored from 21 matches, Hibs are the lowest-scoring side in the SPL. And the defence that they will face on Saturday are certainly no pushovers. The Cowdenbeath back line has six clean sheets from their last seven fixtures, including three straight shut-outs in their most recent outings.
One note of caution is that Hibernian found some relief from their SPL troubles in the League Cup with a 5-0 win over Berwick. But they face a much tougher side this time and also have to play away from the comforts of Easter Road. With their confidence presumably at its lowest possible ebb, the Hibees could be ripe for the taking in this one.
Betting tip: Cowdenbeath to score at any point in the game @ 11/25 or Cowdenbeath to win the match @ 7/2.
St Mirren v Hamilton (Saturday, 3.00pm)
Shock potential: 7/10
St Mirren have been very hit-or-miss in the cup competitions in recent years, making the final of the League Cup in 2010, while being knocked out by East Fife in the same tournament just two seasons earlier and at the hands of Ayr this season.
They kick off their Scottish Cup campaign hosting relegation rivals from last season, Hamilton Academical. The away side will therefore be keen for revenge after suffering the drop against a club they have had a good recent run against.
Hamilton’s brilliant record against the Saints has seen their last ten meetings give St Mirren just one win, while there have been five draws and Hamilton have won four times, including in their most recent encounter at St Mirren Park last May.
Of those most recent ten games there were four goalless draws and eight games where St Mirren failed to score.
Betting tip: A Hamilton clean sheet @ 9/2, a double chance bet on a Hamilton win or a draw @ 3/2 or a 0-0 scoreline at 10/1.
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