A confession: back in 1994, a young thecomicsnob cried many tears after Celtic somehow conspired to lose the league cup final to Raith Rovers on penalties, which meant our trophy drought went on. Thankfully the drought ended in the Scottish Cup six months later, and it’s in the Scottish Cup Celtic and Raith meet this weekend. This is our first Scottish Cup tie against Raith since 1996, where we won 2-0 at Parkhead, although of course the sides did meet in the league cup earlier this season in the league cup, Gary Hooper getting all 4 goals in a 4-1 win.
Regarding team selection, Fraser Forster is back after his recent injury problems and interestingly James Forrest is back in the squad, after a couple of weeks out. Tomas Rogic has finally joined up but it’s unlikely he’ll have any game time. It wouldn’t surprise me if Joe Ledley returns to the starting line-up after his good performance against Killie this week. Perhaps he’ll go into midfield with Charlie Mulgrew going to left-back, as Izaguirre is injured. Tony Stokes deserves a start after his goal on Wednesday, he should replace the injured Samaras and reunite with Gary Hooper, to form the partnership which has at times been very successful.
You’d have to imagine that Celtic have got last week’s dire result of their system with the midweek win against Kilmarnock, but you always have to guard against a cup shock, as Celtic have found to their cost recently. Hopefully an early goal can put the game to bed, and we can look forward to the quarter-final draw on Sunday night.