Scottish Cup shock-o-meter: Fourth round ties rated over potential for upsets

The Scottish Cup fourth round got under way on Thursday night as Hibs squeezed past League One leaders Cove Rangers after extra-time at Easter Road.

St Johnstone won the Scottish Cup last season but are in really poor form.
St Johnstone won the Scottish Cup last season but are in really poor form.

The closely-fought encounter – it took a Kevin Nisbet goal in the 112th minute to finally break Cove’s resistance – shows nothing can be taken for granted over the course of this weekend when another 15 ties take place to decide who joins the Easter Road men in the last 16.

Cove came close to causing an upset, but which underdogs will take inspiration from Paul Hartley’s men and go on to claim a scalp?

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Here we rate each fourth round fixture’s prospects for shock value out of 10 in our Scottish Cup shock-o-meter …

Auchinleck Talbot knocked out Hamilton Accies last time out and have Hearts in their sights.
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Rangers v Stirling Albion

A next to impossible task for the Binos at the home of the Scottish champions, this Friday night fixture against part-time League Two opposition at Ibrox should pose no problems for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men. 0/10

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Auchinleck Talbot v Hearts

The Ayrshire side will fancy their chances on home turf again after knocking out Championship Hamilton in the last round but Hearts are currently the third best side in the country and will be motivated by painful memories of being knocked out by Brora last season. 2/10

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Non-league Darvel head to Arbroath.

Aberdeen v Edinburgh City

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Buoyed by their 2-2 draw at runaway League Two leaders Kelty Hearts last weekend, Gary Naysmith’s part-timers will travel to Pittodrie with confidence, but the Dons will have aspirations of winning the tournament, and should win this one comfortably. 1/10

Arbroath v Darvel

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Arbroath may share part-time status with their visitors, but Dick Campbell’s men are top of the Championship and are far too streetwise to be turfed out at home by a side from the West of Scotland Premier Division who have done themselves proud in reaching the last 32. 2/10

Kelty Hearts have their eyes on the holders.
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Ayr United v St Mirren

After ending a 12-game winless run at Dundee United on Tuesday, Saints can approach this one without that monkey on their back. That should give them the boost they need to get through this tie, but it promises to be a difficult 90 minutes against Lee Bullen’s side, who will be desperate to bounce back from their home defeat to Morton last week. 4/10

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Banks O’Dee v Raith Rovers

Rovers are in a slump – without a win in five in the Championship and struggling to score goals – which makes this trip to Aberdeen a precarious one against a side who are riding high at the top of the North Region Superleague, and who eliminated League One strugglers East Fife in the previous round. 5/10

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Clydebank v Annan Athletic

Having already knocked out two SPFL sides, Elgin City and Clyde, to reach the fourth round few would bet against the Bankies fairytale run continuing, although they face an in-form Annan side currently enjoying a nine-game unbeaten run. 6/10

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Dumbarton v Dundee

One worth keeping a close eye on. A trip to face the Sons, who have former Dundee United captain Paul Paton in their ranks, is fraught with danger for James McPake’s men as pressure builds to snap a six-game losing streak. 4/10

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Kelty Hearts v St Johnstone

It is not unthinkable for the cup holders to fall at the first hurdle to a part-time side from three divisions below. Saints are toiling big time in the Premiership while Kelty are running riot in League Two and have players who can hurt a struggling defence. Has the makings of a cracking cup tie. 7/10

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Kilmarnock v Dundee United

Potential to be tie of the round. Killie are pushing for an instant return to the Premiership and have been bolstered by the appointment of Derek McInnes and the return of Kyle Lafferty. United will look for new signing Tony Watt to be the difference as they try to avoid racking up a seventh straight defeat. 7/10

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Livingston v Ross County

This one could go either way but as the only fixture involving two teams in the same division, there is no shock value. n/a

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Motherwell v Greenock Morton

The Steelmen have had a decent campaign thus far but have laid an egg on a few occasions – most recently losing to 10-man Ross County on Tuesday night. Morton have made a promising start under new boss Dougie Imrie but, at home, ‘Well should be too strong. 2/10

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Partick Thistle v Airdrieonians

Two teams mounting a promotion push square up at Firhill. Jags are enjoying a fine season in the Championship and will be favourites to progress but Airdrie are making a push for the League One title and have won their last five matches so expect this one to be closely fought. 5/10

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Peterhead v East Kilbride

The Blue Toon are struggling for consistency in League One but the same cannot be said for The Kilby who have won 11 of their last 12 in the Lowland League, and who claimed creditable draws against SPFL opponents Morton and Clyde in the League Cup earlier in the season. 5/10

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Alloa Athletic v Celtic

An intriguing match not least because former Rangers captain and current Wasps boss Barry Ferguson faces up to his old rivals. Alloa will make life uncomfortable for Celtic, as will the astroturf pitch and tight surroundings, but Ange Postecoglou’s men have the quality to overcome it. 1/10

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