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Match Preview

St Johnstone V Partick Thistle – 8th August 2017

A series of tough matches in the Betfred Cup meant that Partick Thistle went into the round of 16 draw as an unseeded team. With Livingston topping the group, Thistle were left with a number of difficult opponents as possible cup opponents. In the end, it would a familiar opposition that Alan Archibald would have to contend with as the Jags were drawn against fellow top six side from last season, St. Johnstone, who entered the competition at this stage following their European adventure’s conclusion.

The Firhill side have met the Perth outfit in cup competition already this year when Thistle travelled to McDiarmid Park in February and came away 1-0 winners in the Scottish Cup fifth round. The Maryhill men must now travel to Perth again as they look to advance into the Betfred Cup quarter-finals. Jags boss, Alan Archibald, spoke to ahead of the clash.

Archie, firstly, addressed Kris Doolan’s condition. The Jags’ striker was forced off with an injury during the first half at Easter Road on Saturday and is struggling with a hamstring problem.

“The physio’s initial thought was that he’d be out for seven to 10 days so missing the next couple of games, but he could have a chance for Friday’s game against Celtic as he wasn’t feeling too sore today. Having said that I’m just going to let Kris focus on his recovery and I’ll use him when he’s ready. It’s always difficult when he’s missing but more now than ever as we don’t have much cover. We’ll have to use different personnel but hopefully we won’t have to alter our play style much.”

St. Johnstone away represents a very difficult draw for Archie’s side but the gaffer is prepared for the challenge that Tommy Wright’s team present.

“We’re used to the tough draws, we always get them. The disappointing thing is we play them again in a couple of weeks and we’d like a bit of variation in the cups which is what the group stage brings to be fair. We have a decent record in Perth but we were poor last time we were there and they got a win on Saturday so it’ll be tough.”

Despite his team’s defeat on Saturday by Hibs, Archie is optimistic that his team can improve on their performance from the weekend in, what will inevitably be a different type of match on Tuesday night.

“It will be a totally different game tomorrow, we’ve spoken to the boys about that. Saturday was a special occasion in terms of the crowd and atmosphere which gave the match a different feel. We started well there but fell apart after Boyle’s goal and we have to do better in those situations with our mindset and mentality. Tomorrow will be a different game entirely, it’s probable that I’ll make a couple of changes and we’re preparing for St Johnstone.”

More exclusive previews discussions with Scott Paterson and Adam Barton are now available on Jagzone – log-in to see them now.

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