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Preview: St Mirren vs. Inverness Caledonian Thistle - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Scottish Cup clash between St Mirren and Inverness Caledonian Thistle, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Scottish Premiership side St Mirren will host Championship outfit Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Friday night hoping to progress from the fourth round of the Scottish Cup for the third successive season.

Meanwhile, the visitors have an impressive record in this competition and have only been knocked out at this stage once in the last 12 years.

Match preview

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin pictured on August 9, 2020© Reuters

Since winning 3-0 in the third round of the Scottish Cup against Hamilton Academical, St Mirren lost 1-0 away at Motherwell last weekend.

A goal from Devante Cole in the 62nd minute was enough to separate the two sides and has seen the Steelmen climb to within two points of the Saints in eighth.

Although there are no fears of relegation heading into the final four matches of the season, manager Jim Goodwin will still be keen for his side to finish the campaign strongly and progress into the latter stages of the Scottish Cup.

In the last six years, St Mirren have been eliminated at this stage of the Scottish Cup three times, including a fourth-round exit against Inverness in 2014-15.

The Saints, who have won three of their previous four meetings with Caley Thistle, last won the competition in 1986-87, and a victory on Friday would move them one step closer to repeating that triumph.

Inverness will make their third away trip in the Scottish Cup, having already won twice on the road to get to the fourth round.

A 3-2 win at Highland League side Buckie Thistle in the second round was followed by an impressive 3-1 victory against top-flight outfit Ross County in the third round at the beginning of this month.

Interim head coach Neil McCann aims to make absent boss John Robertson proud as they gear up for another Scottish Cup tie against Premiership opposition.

Robertson, who is currently on compassionate leave due to a family bereavement, has been away from the dugout since the end of February.

Inverness won their first major piece of silverware when they beat Falkirk 2-1 in the 2014-15 Scottish Cup final, becoming the first club from the Highlands to lift the trophy.

Caley Thistle, who are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions, are the underdogs heading into Friday's game, but McCann will be confident that his side can cause an upset and progress to the quarter-finals for the third successive season.

St Mirren Scottish Cup form:
  • W

St Mirren form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Inverness Caledonian Thistle Scottish Cup form:
  • W
  • W

Inverness Caledonian Thistle form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin pictured in August 2020© Reuters

St Mirren suffered another injury blow as midfielder Ryan Flynn was forced off with a hamstring problem against Motherwell last weekend.

Strikers Eamonn Brophy and Jon Obika are also ruled out for Friday's match due to injury.

Dylan Reid – who became the youngest ever player in the Scottish Premiership when he featured as a substitute against Rangers before the international break – will be hoping to make his first senior start this weekend; the 16-year-old will be competing with Ethan Erhahon and Kyle McAllister for a place in central midfield.

Lee Erwin, who has scored just two league goals this campaign, started up front against the Steelmen but could be replaced by forward Kristian Dennis.

Inverness winger Anthony McDonald requires knee surgery and so is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, but Aaron Doran returned to first-team training last week and is hoping to be in contention for Friday's game.

Midfielder Sean Welsh missed the draw with Queen of the South last week due to injury and remains doubtful for the trip to Paisley.

David Carson, who was named the Championship player of the month for March, is set to start at right-back, while Hibernian loanee Scott Allan could keep his place in the first XI ahead of midfielder Roddy MacGregor.

St Mirren possible starting lineup:
Alnwick; Fraser, McCarthy, Shaughnessy; Tait, Doyle-Hayes, Reid, McAllister, Durmus; McGrath; Dennis

Inverness Caledonian Thistle possible starting lineup:
Ridgers; Carson, McKay, Devine, Deas; Welsh, Allardice; Storey, Allan, MacKay; Todorov

SM words green background

We say: St Mirren 2-1 Inverness Caledonian Thistle

With their top-flight status all but confirmed for another year, St Mirren can now target a strong showing in the Scottish Cup and anything but a victory would be a disappointing result.

Both teams will be confident of success on Friday night, but we feel that the Premiership side should have enough to seal a narrow victory in Paisley.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Inverness CT manager John Robertson on April 13, 2019
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Neil McCann: 'Inverness will make absent boss proud'
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