The first William Hill Scottish Cup action of 2020 is set to begin, with sixteen matches taking place across a three day Scottish Cup weekend.
Friday – 7.45pm
First up: Friday night football from Ibrox, as Rangers host Stranraer. The hosts go into this one full of confidence, and with history on their side: the Gers have never lost a Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox against a side in a lower division, while they have also never lost to Stranraer in a competitive fixture.
A win for Stranraer would see them reach the Fifth Round for the first time since 2014-15. These sides have faced each other in the Scottish Cup before – the last meeting taking place in 1989 – that was an 8-0 win for Rangers. This match is available to watch live on Premier Sports.
Saturday – 3pm
It’s a visit to Pittodrie for Dumbarton, as they take on Aberdeen. The Dons have not lost to lower league opposition in the Cup since 2009-10, when they were eliminated by Raith Rovers. The formbook against Dumbarton makes for good reading however; they have won their last eleven matches – a run which stretches back to 1975.
Saturday sees @DumbartonFC make the trip to Pittodrie as they take on @AberdeenFC.— William Hill Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) January 14, 2020
An Adam Rooney goal separated the sides the last time they met in the Cup, back in 2014.
Will it be the Dons or the Sons who win through to the Fifth Round this weekend? 🤔#ScottishCup pic.twitter.com/AADUhsAK1R
The last time these sides met in the competition was the Sixth Round in 2013-14, also at Pittodrie – Aberdeen emerged as 1-0 victors on that occasion. Should Dumbarton emerge victors, it would be their first win over top flight opposition in the Cup since 1981-82 when they defeated Partick Thistle in the Third Round.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle make the trip south to face Alloa Athletic – the first ever meeting of these sides in the Scottish Cup. Should Alloa win, it would be only the second time they reach the Fifth Round in 13 seasons. Caley Thistle, however, are unbeaten in their last seven matches against Alloa – a win for them would see them make it to the Fifth Round for the tenth time in the last eleven seasons.
Arbroath take on Falkirk in the next of Saturday’s 3pm kick-offs. Arbroath will be hoping to win through to the Fifth Round for only the second time in the last 25 years. In making the trip to Gayfield, this will be Falkirk’s eighth consecutive away match in the Scottish Cup – they have not been drawn at home since they played Fraserburgh in Round 3 in 2015-16.
Fourth Round #StatAttack:— William Hill Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) January 13, 2020
➡️ @ArbroathFC and @FalkirkFC first entered the Scottish Cup in 1878-79, but amazingly this will be their first ever meeting in the competition.
➡️ This will be Falkirk’s eighth consecutive away match in the Scottish Cup.#ScottishCup pic.twitter.com/Vz7wZPVGQI
Amazingly this will be the first time these two sides have met in the Scottish Cup, despite both of them first entering in the 1878-79 season. They have, however, met in the League Cup before – September 2003 saw Falkirk win 4-3. A repeat of that scoreline would make for an entertaining afternoon at Gayfield.
Ross County make the 216 mile trip south to Ayrshire as they face Ayr United. This is somewhat of a role reversal from the last time these sides met in the competition – in January 1996. Back then Third Division County pulled off a shock 2-0 win at Somerset Park. Now the top-flight Staggies will be hoping they aren’t eliminated at the hands of lower league opposition.
The Honest Men do have an upset in them however – back in 2011 they defeated Hibernian. It will be a tough ask against Ross County – the highland side are unbeaten in their last 14 matches against Ayr United in all competitions, a run which stretches back to 2008.
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic will make only the second Fourth Round appearance in their history on Saturday, as they host Clyde. The Rosey Posey are unbeaten in their last seven Scottish Cup matches at New Dundas Park; they go into this match knowing that Clyde have lost against Lowland League opposition before – a 2-0 defeat to Spartans in November 2014.
Clyde have only reached the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup once in the last 12 seasons – that was back in 2017-18. They will look to emulate Hibs, Bonnyrigg Rose’s opponents the last time they reached this stage – the Hibees won 8-1 on that occasion.
One of the weekend’s most intriguing ties sees an all Lowland League tie, as East Kilbride take on BSC Glasgow. A win for EK would see them reach the Fifth Round for only the second time in their history, while a win for BSC would see them progress to the Fifth Round for the first time – indeed, they are also making their Fourth Round debut.
The winners will become only the third Lowland League side to reach the Fifth Round, following Spartans (2014-15) and East Kilbride (2015-16).
Premierships Hamilton Academical will host Edinburgh City of League Two – the first time these sides have met in the Scottish Cup. Accies will be hoping to avoid a repeat result of the last time they came up against League Two opposition in the Scottish Cup – Annan Athletic caused a memorable upset that day with an extraordinary 4-1 win.
Edinburgh City have come up against top-flight opposition only once before in the competition; a 7-2 defeat to Dunfermline Athletic in January 1998. A win for the capital side, however, would see them reach the Fifth Round for the first ever time.
Airdrieonians travel to the capital, as they take on Heart of Midlothian. Tynecastle Park is somewhat of a fortress for the Jambos in the competition – they are unbeaten in their last nine games played at home. Daniel Stendel, making his Scottish Cup debut, will be hoping to avoid a repeat of February 1982 and Hearts’ only previous defeat against third tier opposition in the competition – a 1-0 loss to Forfar Athletic.
⏪ A Steve Cooper header saw @AirdrieoniansFC seal a place in the Final as 1-0 winners over Hearts in the 1994-95 Semi-Final.— William Hill Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) January 15, 2020
Will it be the Jambos or the Diamonds who emerge victorious at Tynecastle this weekend?#ScottishCup pic.twitter.com/lv7SrhZhBK
Airdrieonians have a good record against Hearts in domestic competition, however. Their last competitive meeting with the Jam Tarts saw them win on penalties at Tynecastle in a 2008 League Cup tie. They also have a number of high profile victories in the Scottish Cup – including a 1-0 Semi-Final victory in 1995.
Kilmarnock host Queen’s Park, as Scotland’s two oldest surviving clubs battle for a place in the Fifth Round. These are two of three sides (the other being Dumbarton) in the Fourth Round who entered the first ever Scottish Cup in 1873-74.
This is the first time Killie and Queens have met in the Cup since 1971, that clash at Hampden ended 1-0 to Kilmarnock.
Raith Rovers make the trip to Livingston – the first time these sides have met in the Scottish Cup. The home side are aiming to reach the Fifth Round for the first time since 2007-08 – they have only won four Scottish Cup ties in the last decade.
Raith will be looking for their first win over top-flight opposition for the first time since they defeated Hibernian 3-2 in February 2014. They can take solace from the host’s poor home record in the Cup: Livi have lost six of their last seven matches at Tony Macaroni Arena.
It’s Premiership against Championship at McDiarmid Park, as St Johnstone take on Greenock Morton. The last Scottish Cup meeting between these two teams came back in 1988-89, when Saints won 3-2 at Muirton Park following a 2-2 draw in Greenock
St Johnstone’s only previous Scottish Cup defeat at McDiarmid Park against lower league opposition came against Gretna back in January 2006. Greenock Morton’s last away win over top flight opposition in the Scottish Cup came back in January 2008 when they defeated Gretna 3-0 at Palmerston.
One of this season’s Scottish Cup debutants Broxburn Athletic make the trip to Paisley as they take on Premiership side St Mirren – the first competitive meeting of these two sides (though Saints did face Broxburn Shamrock in the 1892-93 Scottish Cup).
The Saints have not lost a Scottish Cup tie to non-league opposition since 1923, when they were beaten 3-2 by Armadale at Love Street. They will, however, face East of Scotland League opposition for the second time in three seasons, having beaten Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale 7-1 at Saughton Enclosure in 2017-18.
Broxburn Athletic have already won five matches in the competition (including Preliminary Rounds) to make it to this stage.
Saturday – 5.30pm
Holders Celtic make the short trip to Firhill, as they take on Partick Thistle. Partick have made it to the Fifth Round in each of the last five seasons, and they will be hoping to make it six seasons in Saturday’s late afternoon kick-off. It will be a tough ask, however; they have never beaten Celtic in the Scottish Cup – in ten previous meetings they have lost nine and drawn one.
Celtic have recorded 31 consecutive victories in domestic cup ties – their last defeat came in the 2015-16 Scottish Cup Semi-Final. Their last defeat at the hands against Partick Thistle stretches back 32 matches to May 1995.
You can watch this match live on Premier Sports.
Saturday – 7.20pm
An intriguing tie lies in wait in Saturday evening’s match, as Dundee host Motherwell. The Steelmen will have happy memories of this fixture, having beaten Dundee 2-0 at Dens Park on their road to the 2017-18 Final. Indeed, they have won each of their last seven matches against Dundee in all competitions and have won on their last five visits to Dens Park.
One statistic that goes in Dundee’s favour, however, is the fact that Motherwell have been eliminated at this stage in five of the last seven seasons.
Tune it to watch this match live on BBC Scotland.
Sunday – 3pm
The last match of the William Hill Scottish Cup weekend sees Hibernian travel to face Dundee United, in a repeat of the 2016-17 Semi-Final – a match that Hibs won on penalties on their way to lifting the trophy. This is the first meeting of these sides at Tannadice since January 2002, when a Grant Brebner hat-trick helped Hibs to a 3-2 win.
Dundee United have made it to at least the Fifth Round in eleven of the last twelve seasons – the only exception being in 2017-18, while Hibs have reached at least the Sixth Round in four of the last five seasons.
Make sure to watch this one live on BBC Scotland.
Concussion protocol prominent in Fourth Round
As some of the top footballers in Scotland get set to compete in the Fourth Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup this weekend, the Scottish FA is aiming to increase understanding and awareness around concussion at all levels of the game.
In 2015, a single concussion policy for all sports was produced by a collaboration of the Scottish FA, medics, Scottish Government, sportscotland and other sporting governing bodies.
While awareness and understanding continues to progress in football and further afield, Dr John MacLean, Scottish FA Chief Medical Consultant and National Teams Doctor, believes that the prestige of the Fourth Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup offers an opportune moment to emphasise the importance of the concussion protocol.
He said: “The Scottish Cup is a massively inclusive tournament, with clubs from all levels of the game competing against one another. The beauty about the Scottish concussion guidelines is that they’re designed for clubs at grassroots level and apply throughout the game all the way up to top-flight clubs.
“Even some of the professional clubs won’t have full-time doctors – their physios might be part-time and only see the players at training – so the guidelines are a really good example of evidence-based practice, based on expert opinion from around the world and put in to a Scottish context that makes it clear and easy for coaches, players and parents to look at and understand.
“I think the public are much more aware of the signs of concussion, they’re much more aware of the fact that concussion is a brain injury. There is no such thing as a mild concussion: it’s still a brain injury and it’s a bit like saying ‘you’ve had a mild heart attack’.
“Understanding it, recognising the signs and symptoms and removing that individual from play are the crucial factors, with the message ‘If in doubt, sit them out’ being vitally important at all levels of the game.”
Make your predictions
Don’t forget to make your predictions for all of this weekend’s matches in the Scottish Cup predictor. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can sign up now and win some fantastic prizes in the process. You can make your predictions for every match in every round up until the Semi-Finals.
Got your predictions in for the Fourth Round yet?— William Hill Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) January 15, 2020
🏆 Each round winner wins a @PremierSportsTV subscription.
🏆 The overall winner wins a VIP Cup Final experience.
➡️ Predict the Second Round scores now: https://t.co/qtCiUrMs1m#ScottishCup pic.twitter.com/BEV1OfYqWC
The winner of each round will win a Premier Sports subscription, while the overall winner will receive an incredible VIP William Hill Scottish Cup Final experience in May.
You can play on your own, or create a league with friends – sign up right here.
The fixture information for this weekend's William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round has been confirmed; this includes information regarding the date, time and venue in the event of a postponement or the tie going to a replay. You can find out the information here.
Fifth Round draw
The draw for the Fifth Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup will take place on Sunday evening – you can watch it live on BBC Scotland’s Sportscene.