Warriors worried by elevated status

SCOTTISH FOOTBALL
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The Independent Online
Stenhousemuir may be favourites to win today's Tennent's Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at home to Caledonian Thistle, but that is exactly what their manager, Terry Christie, is worried about.

"I would rather not be favourites because we are better as David than Goliath," Christie said. "Already this season we have needed a replay to beat Arbroath and we only got past East Stirling 1-0."

Christie believes the draw is perfect for a small club to do well: "There is an obvious chance for someone to progress and for a non-Premier Division side to reach the semis or even the final."

Around 2,000 supporters are expected at Ochilview for a game which sees Christie's Warriors without his suspended son, Max, and the veteran defender George McGeachie. Also, Paul Hunter has a groin strain while Miller Mathieson and Jimmy Fisher are doubtful.

The potential match of the day is at Rugby Park, where an 18,000 sell- out crowd will watch Kilmarnock take on Hearts. Killie have Ally Mitchell free from suspension while Robert Connor returns from injury. Hearts will be missing their Italian defender, Pasqualle Bruno, after his red card against Aberdeen last Saturday.

Celtic take on Raith in a re-run of the 1994 Coca-Cola Cup final. Raith's interim management team of Jimmy Thomson and Jim McInally will be hoping for the same outcome to rubber-stamp their credentials as Stark's Park officials sift through 60 applications for the vacant hot seat.

And Stirling Albion have the chance to cause something of a shock, with Aberdeen the visitors to Forthbank.

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