SCOTTISH football bible Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) is chasing a sixth successive wining NAP.
Dunfermline v Hamilton | Saturday 15:00
If you support one of the teams still involved, cup competitions are fantastic; there’s always a chance that your season could be sealed with silverware or for the minnows, at least, the chance that you’ll get to take on one of the country’s top teams.
Goals, excitement and high drama are all part of the package in the cup, but if you’re looking for those elements, there are probably better places to keep an eye on in the Scottish Cup this weekend than East End Park.
Dunfermline, back in the Championship and Scottish Cup runners-up back in 2007, host Premiership side Hamilton in the fifth round with the Pars dreaming of a Cupset.
Goals in short supply
Goals, however, could prove hard to come by when these two teams meet, for there have been fewer than three goals scored in six of Dunfermline’s last seven home matches, with four of the last five ending in a 1-1 draw.
Indeed, all but one of Dunfermline’s last seven outings in all competitions has seen fewer than three goals scored, with the latest tame tussle coming in a 2-0 loss to Falkirk last weekend.
Hamilton hardly setting the heather alight
Accies are hardly setting the heather alight either; a 3-0 home win against Inverness is the only time that Martin Canning’s men have scored more than a single goal in their last 12 outings, while Saturday’s hosts have won just two of their last 15 fixtures.
The other win during that run came against Kilmarnock in the previous round of this competition – a 1-0 victory at Rugby Park by virtue of a late penalty kick; a similarly tight tussle seems likely on this occasion and those backing a low-scoring encounter should pick up a profit.
Oppose a goal-heavy game
There have been fewer than three goals scored in six of Hamilton’s last nine ties in this competition – a sequence of results that includes a 2-0 win against the Pars at East End Park in 2013 – and the stats suggest a war of attrition is more likely than a cup classic when the rivalry is renewed.
The winners will be rewarded with a quarter-final spot but don’t expect the goals to flow in Fife on Saturday afternoon; instead punters should snap up the generous 10/11 quote from William Hill for Under 2.5 Goals when the Pars play host to the Accies in Saturday’s Scottish Cup showdown.
Dunfermline v Hamilton – Under 2.5 Goals (10/11 William Hill)
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