Match Preview: Forfar Athletic v St. Johnstone

editorial image

Tomorrow (Saturday, February 8) Forfar Athletic go into the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup for the second season running - the only Angus club to do so.

And premiership side St. Johnstone will be the visitors to Station Park.

The McDiarmid Park side will obviously start as firm favourites to progress, but the home side have shown time and again over the past 18 months that they can be a match for any side, including in two cup ties earlier in the campaign at Dens Park.

Following on from superb performances at the start of the year against Brechin City and Stenhousemuir, Dick Campbell’s side have stuttered slightly over the past three games which have seen them pick up only one league point, although the first of these games was a visit from Rangers - a side yet to see a league defeat this season.

They also ended last Saturday’s clash with Airdrie carrying a handful of injuries but for the most part these have cleared up throughout the week. As an added boost, Odmar Faeroe, who pulled up in the warm up at Methil two weeks back and looked likely to be out for a month could be a surprise contender for a place in the starting line-up.

Saints boss Tommy Wright who witnessed the Loons epic victory over Brechin City in the previous round and also saw them in action against Rangers may decide to freshen his side up with some of his transfer window signings following the 4-0 League Cup Semi-final defeat to Aberdeen at Tynecastle last week.

Former Scotland striker Chris Iwelumo signed from Scunthorpe came on as a sub in that game, while Michael O’Halloran another forward snapped up on his release by Bolton Wanderers scored in a midweek Under-20 league fixture.

Youngsters James Dunne and Mark Davies a loan capture from Nottingham Forest where his father Billy is the man in charge could also come into contention.

Stevie May, the Perth side’s prolific striker, will be the main threat to the home defence, his goals and overall performances this term one of the key factors to Saints current sixth placed position in the league.

With goalkeeper Alan Manus side lined with injury, player-coach Steve Banks will continue between the sticks for the visitors meaning both goalkeepers on show will be past their 40th birthday.

The home side’s Rab Douglas will be making the 499th senior appearance of his lengthy career on Saturday.

John Beaton who refereed the League Cup semi-final between Hearts and Inverness Caledonian Thistle last weekend will be the man in charge.