Premiership: Arbroath's smoking form to be put to the test at Myreside

Arbroath will go into this afternoon's SNCL Premiership match at Watsonians without the services of key men Calvin Burnett and Benny McGill, but the Lochlands men still head to the Capital with a spring in their step.

The match at Myreside pits sixth against second in the top flight and is the start of a big weekend for both clubs with each having Scottish Cup semi- finals to look forward to tomorrow.

Arbroath have won their last three matches to sit just behind unbeaten leaders Carlton in the table, and with Watsonians having won at Greenock seven days ago they are ready to put in a bid for a top four spot.

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Arbroath captain Fraser Burnett said: "It is a blow to be without Calvin who has a slight hamstring niggle and the experienced Benny who is on holiday, but the team is buzzing at the moment having beaten Grange last weekend and we are looking forward to two big games in two days.

"We have maybe surprised a few people so far this season, but I haven't been that shocked by our form since promotion as I know what talented players I have in my team.

"The match against Watsonians, who have a number of quality players in their ranks, will be another test of how far we have come, and it is shaping up to be a cracker."

The experienced John Salmond and young bowler Mark Fleming - who earlier in the season took 5-0 in a match for one of the club's lower XIs - come into the side for today's match. Burnett is hopeful his younger brother Calvin will recover full fitness for tomorrow's cup showdown with Dunfermline Knights.

For today's league encounter the hosts bring in James Easton for Paddy Sadler, the Scotland under-19 captain being rested before the age-grade side head to Ireland tomorrow for the World Cup qualifiers.

Watsonians captain Craig Wright, whose side host Uddingston in the cup tomorrow, said: "Having been lucky enough to coach a number of Arbroath's players over the last few years when they have been playing age-grade cricket I am not surprised how well they have done this summer.

"We have started putting some decent performances together ourselves in the last few weeks though and we need to focus fully on the Arbroath match before minds drift to the cup game."

Elsewhere today leaders Carlton host West of Scotland, with the Grange Loan men having seen their last two league matches washed out.

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However, they did manage to get in a Masterton Trophy final with Grange last Friday which they won to progress to the national Twenty20 finals day - and their Scotland contingent are all on a high.

Third place Forfarshire have been kicking their heels since their shock loss to Stirling County three weeks ago and today they will hope to complete only their sixth league match of the season when they host Aberdeenshire.The visitors' Chris West needs two wickets to become the first player in the league to reach 20 this term.

Fourth-placed Heriot's make the short journey to Stockbridge to take on Grange in an intriguing clash which will pit talented Papua New Guinean teenagers Lega Siaka (Grange) and Chris Kent (Heriot's) against each other before they team up for their country in the World Cup qualifiers.

Seventh place Clydesdale travel to face Uddingston looking to avenge their eight wicket defeat in the Scottish Cup at the same ground earlier this month.

Dunfermline Knights host Greenock, Ayr welcome Stoneywood-Dyce to New Cambusdoon and bottom club Drumpellier are on the road to take on Stirling County.