The defence of our trophy.
Inverness continue the defence of their trophy at Easter Road in a 2:00pm kick off on Sunday in the quarter finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup.
This will be the last quarter final to be played and we already know the outcome of the Saturday cup games. The Rangers thumped Dundee 4-0 in the early game and ten man Dundee United knocked Ross County out as Billy Mckay scored the winner in a thrilling 2-3 win at Dingwall. Celtic take on Morton in Sundays early kick off and the Cappielow club will be hoping for a repeat of the league Cup result from three years ago when they put Celtic out after extra-time.
Hibs have won the Scottish Cup twice. That in itself is not unusual, but their last triumph in this competition was back in 1902 when they defeated Celtic 1-0 at Celtic Park in front of 16,000 fans. That's 114 years and counting. Incidentally, Inverness Caledonian beat Stranraer 6-1 in the first round that same year before going down 5-1 at Ibrox against Rangers.
Hibs have reached the Quarter Finals by beating Raith Rovers 2-0 away from home and then coming back from the dead to draw 2-2 at Tynecastle. In the replay, Hibs went through thanks to a Jason Cummings strike. However their top scorer will miss the tie against us as he is suspended after being red carded
Inverness made it here after needing a replay to dispose of Stirling Albion 2-0. Andrea Mutombo scoring the goal of the round in that replay. Jordan Roberts was the match winner as he replicated Mutombo's feat by scoring a spectacular winner at Fir Park against Motherwell in a 1-2 victory.
Hibs are coming into this game off the back of three defeats in a row in the Championship and have now slipped down to third in the division as these results take their toll. Morton, Dumbarton and Queen of the South were the teams that beat the Hibees and Falkirk are now above them in the league.
Inverness have little to shout about. We have slumped to ninth in the Premiership after a series of frustratingly grim performances and gifting goals like nobodies business. It's four games since we won, beating Aberdeen 3-1 with a stirring performance, but erratic form, injuries and suspensions have curbed our desire to entertain and we now find ourselves staring at the heart of the relegation battle. Defeat at Tynecastle has thrown our season into despair and just when we thought our injury predicament was getting better, we had nine players out receiving treatment and Ross Draper suspended.
Yogi has been proclaiming the Hibernian side this week and despite criticism from some fans regarding his comments I tend to agree that Hibs are a miss to the Premiership. If nothing else, it's a great day out in Leith and one of the better grounds in Scotland. It's the usual posturing prior to games and bigging up Hibs will help to make them more complacent. I'm sure Yogi will be looking to end their cup run despite his history with the Easter Road club. It's all part of the game.
Alan Stubbs will be without a trio of suspended players. Jason Cummings, Paul Hanlon and Marvin Bartley.
John Hughes will have Ross Draper back after his suspension and the good new continues with Josh Meekings and James Vincent likely to be added to the squad as they recover from injury. Andrea Mutombo is a doubt but Richie Foran, Aaron Doran, Alex Fisher, David Raven, Nat Wedderburn and Dean Brill are all out.
tm4tj Prediction:- I'm taking Inverness to get into the semi-final, but it might take a replay to sort this one out. Our wafer thin squad has been exposed recently, but it's great to have Draper back and with Meekings and Vincent set to return things are looking up. Scoring goals is a problem and Miles Storey and Jordan Roberts will be the men asked to do just that. Hibs will miss the tenacity of Cummings up front, but in John McGinn they have one of the most talented players in Scotland. Anthony Stokes is another who will provide a challenge for any defence and he knows the way to goal. I'm banking on our midfield holding the key to our success here and our passing game to frustrate Hibs and their big support, I'm just not sure who will be scoring the goals. Replay up North and Inverness to progress.