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How could Arbroath line-up against Darvel in Scottish Cup – and should Lichties rest key players for promotion push?

Dick Campbell could have a full squad to choose from - but how will he line up against Darvel?
Dick Campbell could have a full squad to choose from - but how will he line up against Darvel?

Arbroath take on Darvel in the Scottish Cup on Saturday at Gayfield – and Dick Campbell will have plenty to ponder when it comes to his team selection.

Although the Ayrshire side sit four leagues beneath the Lichties, they have already caused two upsets; beating League Two Stranraer, then Brechin City in previous rounds, so it will not be a game to take lightly.

The Lichties have crucial games coming up in the next few weeks against fellow Championship contenders.

Arbroath boss DIck Campbell celebrates at full-time.
Arbroath boss Dick Campbell celebrates after the 2-1 win over Raith Rovers.

Covid permitting, Campbell should have a full squad to choose from this weekend.

But will he shuffle his pack a little bit to protect his key men or continue to go with his strongest line up?

Courier Sport takes a look at the options at his disposal.

Goalkeeper

Derek Gaston has played every minute of the league campaign so far, while Calum Antell has only featured three times in the League and Challenge Cups at the start of the season.

Gaston has proven to be a rock at the back and made crucial saves when called up. For that reason, he should stay in the team this weekend.

Defence

This is an area where Arbroath don’t have too much room for manoeuvre.

Jason Thomson, Ricky Little, Thomas O’Brien, Colin Hamilton – that backline has not changed too much at all this season.

The Arbroath players put their bodies on the line as Thomas O'Brien (5) watches as Dylan Tait fires in a shot at goal.
The Arbroath defence has been a tough one to get through for opposition teams.

Liam Henderson has proved a reliable centre back replacement for O’Brien or Little. While David Gold can slot in at right back, if required.

Henderson may get the chance of some game time, but it’s likely Campbell will stick to his relied upon back four.

Midfield

With Covid and injuries this season, Arbroath’s midfield has changed quite a bit. But there are a number of players that can stand in and do not weaken the side.

Against Raith they went with a midfield of Scott Stewart, Nicky Low, Chris Hamilton and Henderson.

Star midfielder Michael McKenna should be available once again.
Star midfielder Michael McKenna should be available once again.

Star man Michael McKenna will be available once more, while James Craigen and David Gold are equally able to come into the side.

With Low coming back into the side from injury, this weekend could be a chance to give him a rest or come on later in the game to get some more minutes under his belt.

Craigen could also come into the field to replace Henderson.

Attack

The Lichties have a good pool of resource in attack. Luke Donnelly and Jack Hamilton led the line last weekend.

Both Jack Hamilton and Craig Wighton are eligible for the cup run too, which gives Campbell more options.

Loan signings Craig Wighton and Jack Hamilton are available for selection.
Loan signings Craig Wighton and Jack Hamilton are available for selection.

Bobby Linn could play a role, either wide on the right or up top.

There are also the veterans Gavin Swankie and Dale Hilson who are other back-ups more than capable of a goal or two against a side of Darvel’s stature.

Predicted line-up

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