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Scottish Cup set for quarter-final weekend

Friday, 03 March 2017


This weekend eight teams will vie for a glamour tie at Hampden, as the quarter-finals take place across Scotland in the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Having been on the road from Round One right through to Round Five, the Scottish Cup will this time be at Easter Road, as holders Hibs – fresh from a big win over city-rivals Hearts in the previous round – take on fellow Championship side, Ayr United.

The Honest Men, although near the foot of the table, have been more than a match for the Hibees in the SPFL so far this season – the teams have a win apiece, along with a solitary draw.

With Ayr coming into the match fresh from a morale-boosting win over Raith Rovers, and Hibs looking to bounce back from a disappointing midweek defeat to fellow quarter finalists St. Mirren, this tie is anyone’s for the taking.

The last time the two sides met in the Cup was at this stage in 2012. Hibs won 2-0 on that occasion, but would go on to lose to Hearts 5-1 in the final. This was also the last time Ayr United reached the Sixth Round.

The early kick off on Saturday has a competitive-looking all Premiership encounter between Rangers and Hamilton at Ibrox. Both teams will be looking to the Cup to provide welcome relief from some difficult league form, though both will also be boosted by midweek wins.

Historically, Rangers have had the upper-hand in this fixture in the Cup, emerging victorious on 12 occasions from 15 previous meetings.

The last time these sides met in the Sixth Round was in 2009, a match in which current Accies boss, Martin Canning, played. Rangers won that encounter 5-1, and would go on to lift the trophy that season.

Sunday’s early kick-off sees St. Mirren make the trip to Celtic Park, buoyed by two victories in a row over fellow quarter-finalists, Ayr United and Hibs. Celtic, however, will be in confident mood thanks to their league form, having now won 22 games in a row.

St. Mirren last reached this stage of the competition in 2013, when they also played against Celtic. A 2-1 win for the Hoops, thanks to Joe Ledley and Anthony Stokes, gave them victory that day, and would subsequently see them go on to lift the Scottish Cup.

Sunday’s final match offers the tantalising prospect of an all-Premiership clash between Aberdeen and Partick Thistle. Aberdeen will go into this match knowing that historical form is on their side, having only ever lost one Scottish Cup match to Partick.

2013 saw the last Scottish Cup clash between these sides – an Andrew Considine header on that occasion being enough to see the Dons through to the next round.

Sixth Round Draw:

Rangers v Hamilton
Saturday, 4 March 2017, Ibrox Stadium, 12.30pm (Live on Sky Sports)

Hibernian v Ayr United
Saturday, 4 March 2017, Easter Road, 3pm

Celtic v St Mirren
Sunday, 5 March 2017, Celtic Park, 12.30pm (Live on Sky Sports)

Aberdeen v Partick Thistle
Sunday, 5 March 2017, Pittodrie, 3pm (Live on BBC Scotland)


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