Scottish Cup - Saturday 26/11/16 - KO 3.00pm - Victoria Park, Buckie
Odds (Skybet): Buckie 13/2; Draw 4/1; Dunfermline 1/3
Dunfermline make the long trip north tomorrow for the Scottish Cup 3rd round tie against Buckie Thistle. The Pars are strong favourites to progress to the next round but are up against a side that are in great goalscoring form.
Buckie qualified for this round after defeating Gretna 6-2 in a 2nd round replay. Top scorer John McLeod scored 5 goals in that game, and has now scored 32 goals this season, the most recent of which came in Buckie's win over Clachnacudden last week when McLeod scored twice. Buckie lead the Highland League and have scored 79 goals in 17 League games, an average of 4.6 per game. Their only defeat, to Keith 2 weeks ago, ended an unbeaten run of 22 League games (18 of which were wins) that stretched back to last season.
Pars line up: the manager's selection
Injured players: Andy Geggan, David Hopkirk, Gavin Reilly, Ben Richards-Everton, Ryan Williamson
Allan Johnston (pictured above) has 5 players injured and 1 suspended, but has Nat Wedderburn now free from suspension, and Kallum Higginbotham also available, after it was confirmed he has already served a suspension in the Scottish Cup during his time with Kilmarnock. The injured players would have given room for rotation, but from those 5 players, only Andy Geggan would be considered a definite starter. Johsnton still has options within his squad and will likely go for an attacking formation.
Preferred Pars line-up:
For once, I would line up with the manager's favourite 4-4-2. The defence virtually selects itself. Nat Wedderburn will come back into midfield to provide some defensive cover in the middle of the park, with the rest of the team being very attack-minded. Higginbotham should start, leaving Joe Cardle, Michael Paton and Paul McMullan in contention for the other 2 wide place. I would select Cardle to give him game time and a chance to regain his form. Up front, the Moff could come in for Farid, although I would still start with the majority of the team who played at St Mirren last week, with Cardle and Wedderburn replacing Paton and McCabe.
Line-up (with squad numbers):
Photo by Pars Review.
Tomorrow: Game Day image and full match report/opinion, photos and Pars player ratings.