Ross County v Inverness Highland derby kicks off Scottish Cup weekend as Staggies reveal No.1 priority

Scottish Cup third-round weekend is one of the most eagerly anticipated in the domestic football calendar and despite no supporters being able to attend, this year’s competition is no different.

Ross County and Inverness go head-to-head in the Scottish Cup.

The rest of the tournament will be crammed into April and May, with the prize of silverware enhanced further by the lure of a Europa League Play-Off round berth and guaranteed continental football until Christmas.

The action kicks off on Friday night as Highland heavyweights Ross County and Inverness clash in Dingwall, live on BBC Scotland.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

For the Staggies, progression in the tournament is important – but in the midst of a relegation battle, staying in the Premiership is their No.1 priority.

John Hughes men are tenth in the table, two points clear of bottom side Hamilton and one above Kilmarnock ahead of the five post-split fixtures.

"It is the main cup in Scotland, it would be good to get a really good run for the end of the season but first and foremost, we have to concentrate on league survival,” said Vigurs.

"We would love a cup run but league survival is first and foremost, for the status of this club.

"If anything you want the relegation dog-fight, as you put it, to start as quickly as possible because you want to try to get going and rectify all the wrongs we have done in the past.”

Inverness are in a different situation under Neil McCann, as Caley are in a good run of form and, sitting in fourth place in the Championship, have a play-off spot in their sights.

“I like winning games of football,” said McCann. “I have always got dreams of doing very well in competitions, and I think you should always set your targets high.

“That means going as far as you can in the cup, and potentially winning it.

“This is another game for us to keep our momentum going. Whether it’s cup or league, it’s another game of football that can be won. The boys have to look at it like that.

“It’s going to be a big ask as Ross County are a Premiership team. Although they are towards the bottom end of the table, they are fighting for their lives.

“I don’t expect them to go into this half-baked – it’s a derby and it’s important.