Rangers face St Mirren in Scottish Cup 5th round tie

GLASGOW: Rangers have been handed an injury boost as they prepare to take on St Mirren in their Scottish Cup fifth round tie.

The match will be the first of three games between the clubs in a month with the sides meeting in the League Cup final on March 21 as well as the Scottish Premier League.

Cup holders Rangers are on a great run of form lately and are unbeaten in their last 12 matches despite a horrendous injury list since the turn of the year.

Club manager Walter Smith has had to do without top-scorers Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller as well as American winger DaMarcus Beasley and his international teammate Maurice Edu.

However Smith was given a lift when Miller declared himself fit for the match against the 'Buddies' as Rangers aim to get to their sixth cup final in a row.

"I will join the boys for training today (Thursday) and hopefully come through that unscathed and be back in the plans for the St Mirren game," Miller said.

"I feel fine and I just want to kick on for the rest of the season.

"It's a fantastic achievement to have reached five cup finals in a row and it says a lot about the squad.

"To be that consistent in cup competitions is a big feat and hopefully we can take one step closer to reaching another one when we face St Mirren on Saturday.

"It will be another very tough match but we will go in to it with confidence."

On Sunday Celtic face a tricky away tie to Dunfermline at East End Park.

Tony Mowbray's side were dealt a midweek blow when they saw their title aspirations torn to shreds after a defeat to relegation-threatened Kilmarnock and the Scottish Cup could be their only realistic chance of silverware.

The Hoops boss brought in eight new players in the transfer window, including Spurs captain Robbie Keane, as he shipped a similar number out.

And after such a disappointing defeat he warned his stars - new and old - that they need to fight for their place in his side.

"You don't see it sometimes, but apathy does creep into football, players who expect to be on the teamsheet every game," Mowbray said.

"I'd like to think we've created a situation where nobody in the team now can expect to see their name on the sheet unless they are performing and contributing to a winning team."

SPL high fliers Hibernian take on the country's worst performing team at Easter Road in the form of Montrose.

Hibs, who sit third in the top division, should have no problems against a side that sit bottom of Division Three with just nine points from 20 games.

There is an all-SPL clash as St Johnstone face Dundee United at McDiarmid Park. Derek McInnes has urged his side to use the hurt of their midweek loss to Rangers in the League Cup semi-final to drive them in their clash against the SPL's fourth-placed clash.

First Division side Raith Rovers host Aberdeen at Starks Park. The Dons will be glad to get away from Pittodrie after losing their last two league games there as they look to progress to the quarter-finals.

Buoyed by their midweek win over Celtic in the league Kilmarnock will look to put their relegation worries behind them as they face Terry Butcher's Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Elsewhere on Saturday First Division leaders Dundee take on league strugglers Ayr United and in-form Ross County face Second Division Stirling Albion.

Fixtures (1500 GMT unless otherwise stated)


Dundee v Ayr, Hibernian v Montrose, Kilmarnock v Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Raith Rovers v Aberdeen, Ross County v Stirling Albion, St Johnstone v Dundee United, St Mirren v Rangers (1230)