CIS Semi Preview

Last updated : 31 January 2006 By Firparkcorner

Both teams took a point from their last SPL game, Motherwell by coming from behind at Dunfermline and Celtic by surrendering a two goal lead against Dundee United. Gordon Strachan is not a happy bunny at the moment and the frailties of his defence are there for all to see. Surely we can take advantage?

The striking partnership of McDonald and Hamilton is working well with a nineteen goal haul to date. Hamilton has already scored a couple against Celtic this season and our opponents need no reminding of the damage Skippy can wreak when he is in the mood.

At the other end of the team Graeme Smith should be restored between the sticks although we should not be concerned if his niggling groin strain results in another outing for Colin Meldrum. The defence and midfield formation are likely to be unchanged from the last outing.

At the post match conference at East End Park Terry Butcher was asked about our prospects. He laughed and said “I don’t know what Motherwell team is going to turn up on Wednesday”. That sums it up. If the team shows any of the lack lustre attitude which saw us lose to St Mirren in the Scottish Cup then we will pay the price. However, we have seen the same group of players deliver some inspiring shows and in that case we will have a real contest to entertain.

The disaster of the last visit to Hampden will be fresh in the memory and it is hard to see the players falling into the same trap. There’s every reason to hope that we can take Celtic into extra time with 2-2 scoreline. After that, who knows?

The Road to Hampden

Hamilton Accies (a) 23 Aug

St Mirren (a) 20 Sep

Aberdeen (h) 8 Nov