Third division newbies looking for cup shock
It's League Cup action on Wednesday night as Inverness face the team formerly known as Rangers in the quarter finals of the trophy at Ibrox.
Having already taken out first division Falkirk and SPL side Motherwell, The Rangers will be looking for another scalp in the shape of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, whose progress to the quarters has been rather low key with away victories over Arbroath and a penalty shoot-out against Stenhousemuir.
The Rangers have done pretty well since gaining admission to the bottom tier in Scotland's leagues and have now moved to the top of division three after only nine games, finding themselves above the mighty Elgin City and Queens Park, although they were beaten recently by bottom club Stirling Albion. However, they failed to claim the scalp of second division Queen of the South in the Ramsdens Cup, losing out on penalties, but they did win last weeks Glasgow derby aganst Clyde when goals from Dean Shiels and Lee McCulloch sealed the points for the Ibrox club.
Inverness, on the other hand, have tottered along in the SPL becoming one of the highest scoring sides in Scotland, despite also having one of the leakiest defences, although they have tightened up at the back in recent weeks. Unbeaten in their last seven games and with only two defeats this season, Inverness can feel pretty smug with their business so far. It's been an encouraging start to the season and the team seem to be settling down after some early slackness and the goals have flowed in every game so far.
What can we expect from this game? It would be foolish for Inverness fans to believe that we will roll over The Rangers with ease, given the disparity in the leagues. Make no mistake, the Ibrox side are still using players that would fit into most SPL sides and the removal of Motherwell from this competition in the last round shows that they will be a force on the park, if not quite so efficient in the boardroom and the bank managers office. So I imagine that The Rangers will be out to show the rest of Scottish Football that they are still a big club ............... maybe not as big as Gregory Tade's Perth, but nonetheless big enough to handle the Highlanders, and that is why they will still be favourites in most peoples eyes to progress into the semi-finals and a possible match with another Glasgow side.
I see that Celtic thrashed St Johnstone in Tuesday nights game 5-0, and Aberdeen went into extra-time with St Mirren, Magennis equalising in the ninety second minute to make it 2-2, but the Buddies went on to win the penalty shoot out by 4-2
***Latest Team News***
Inverness have no fresh injury worries, but captain Richie Foran remains sidelined. Chris Hogg, Simon King and Nick Ross are all long term injury victims. Butcher has a choice to make for the keepers jersey with Esson back to fitness, but Reguero will be difficult to shift. Shane Sutherland and Gavin Morrison will be pushing for a start and Phillip Roberts could be rested with Conor Pepper waiting for his chance. Andy Shinnie is still searching for the two balls he fired high over the bar in the last game, let's hope he sets his sghts a bit lower on Wednesday night.
Rangers defender Sebastien Faure will miss the League Cup quarter final against Inverness. Winger David Templeton is back in training after an ankle injury but is not back to full fitness yet. Spaniard Francisco Sandaza and Kane Hemmings remain out.
tm4tj Prediction:- I would like to think that we could get into the next round of this competition, but Ibrox is not the easiest of grounds to attempt that. Our scoring record and tightening defence will be an asset, and I think we can do it, possibly needing extra-time and penalties, but we do have goal scorers around the park and let's hope we can keep that record going.