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League Cup 2021-22- Set for change?

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44 minutes ago, Scary Bear said:

I despise the League Cup now that it’s the group format. It’s shite. Go back to straight knockout, preferably with no seeding.

Many of us explained at length why groups were a bad idea. Regionalisation has made it worse although tbf the penalty shoot outs have kept things interesting to a degree.

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I'm not casting aspersions here, but I often wonder if those complaing about the repetitive nature of the groups actually attend these games. 

Teams outwith the Premiership play each other 4 times each season, so drawing a club from another division 3 years on the spin is hardly mindnumbing repetition.

Personally, I like the format. Nice weather, a couple of good days out. It's bloody annoying if you draw QoS & Berwick or ICT & Arbroath and then you get the pair as your home games and have to "enjoy" days out in Coatbridge, Airdrie, Methil or Kelty, but it's better than playing friendlies. 

I don't see that attendances have slipped that much in comparison to the days of two rounds of straight knockout in July / August.

As for the gripes about repetitive draws, that's largely... ehhhhh... the luck of the draw. As Gordon EF points out, it is possible to get a decent variety of opposition in the group stage. East Fife have been in the north section in all six years of the current format. They have drawn 17 different opponents. Played Hearts three times - I doubt they're complaining - and drawn Cowden, Forfar, Elgin, Peterhead & the Arabs twice. Come out once v. Sainties, Dundee, Pars, Caley, Raith, Falkirk, Stenny, Dumbarton, Montrose, Arbroath & Kelty. Hard to greet about that. 

Slightly disappointing draw. I've managed to win a fair few bawbees backing group winners in this. No rocket science involved. Two simple rules. Oppose any #1 seed in disarray. (Killie twice & St.Mirren). Oppose any #1 seed with a half-decent & fired-up local rival in the group.  A group where the #1 seed faces an unseeded half-decent & fired-up local rival - or two - that has no issue with the #2 seed is a bonus. Bookies are generally wise to things that simple but they haven't been wise to it in this competition.

There doesn't seem to be a #1 seed in disarray, though several currently have too few contracted players to field an XI. Dundee have two Angus opponents but they're not top seeds and Brora will be straining at the leash for a crack at Ross County in that group. The Bunnet will have Arbroath well motivated for the trip to Tannadice. Airdrie will be gunning for Motherwell. Group H is interesting and I'd be tempted by the likely 6/1+ Partick, who should get St.Mirren at Firhill. 

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Stat Attack on the records at this stage. Gives a clue to who takes this seriously. Managers' records are likely more important than clubs' records. 

Livi have won 16 straight group games (v. 12 different opponents, but they have played Airdrie 3 times). Their last loss was to Accies on 30th July 2016.

Dumbarton's record is noteworthy when you remember they were in the Championship for the first two years & have been in League One since then.

1) - Motherwell (W14 L2)

*T2) - Livingston, Ross County, Dunfermline (W17 L3)

5) - Hearts (W13 L3)

*T6) - Partick, Ayr United (W16 L4)

*T8) - St.Mirren, Dundee (W15 L5)

10) - Dundee United (W14 L6)

*T11) - Caley Thistle, Falkirk, Hamilton, Morton (W13 L7)

15) - Kilmarnock (W10 L6)

*T16) - Q.South, Alloa, Peterhead (W12 L8)

19) - Arbroath (W10 L10)

20) - E.Kilbride (W4 L4)

21) - Raith (W9 L11)

*T22) - E.Fife, Forfar, Airdrie (W8 L12)

*T25) - Stranraer, Albion Rovers (W7 L13)

27) - Cove Rangers (W5 L11)

*T28) - Clyde, Annan, Stirling, Queen's Pk (W6 L14)

*T32) - Elgin, Montrose, Cowdenbeath, Edinburgh C (W5 L15)

36) - Kelty (W1 L3)

*T37) - Brechin, Stenhousemuir (W4 L16)

39) - Dumbarton (W3 L17)

40) - Brora (W0 L4)

#1 seed has won 22 groups.

#2 seed has won 13 groups.

Unseeded teams have won 5 groups. 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Dunning1874 said:

If we're away to East Kilbride I won't be attending and I hope other Morton fans as well as Kilmarnock, Clyde and Stranraer fans take the same stance. Give these colt supporting scabs nothing.

K Park is small enough to offer vantage points from outside. See your team in action + deprive sell outs of income = win win.

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We'll play Raith for the 3rd time in 3 years in this competition now  Although the first time in the groups, getting it out the way early this time
3rd time in 3 years, but not in this competition - the previous two were both Scottish Cup ties.

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On 28/05/2021 at 23:33, FortescueFotheringhamSmyth said:

I'm not casting aspersions here, but I often wonder if those complaing about the repetitive nature of the groups actually attend these games. 

Teams outwith the Premiership play each other 4 times each season, so drawing a club from another division 3 years on the spin is hardly mindnumbing repetition.

Personally, I like the format. Nice weather, a couple of good days out. It's bloody annoying if you draw QoS & Berwick or ICT & Arbroath and then you get the pair as your home games and have to "enjoy" days out in Coatbridge, Airdrie, Methil or Kelty, but it's better than playing friendlies. 

I don't see that attendances have slipped that much in comparison to the days of two rounds of straight knockout in July / August.

As for the gripes about repetitive draws, that's largely... ehhhhh... the luck of the draw. As Gordon EF points out, it is possible to get a decent variety of opposition in the group stage. East Fife have been in the north section in all six years of the current format. They have drawn 17 different opponents. Played Hearts three times - I doubt they're complaining - and drawn Cowden, Forfar, Elgin, Peterhead & the Arabs twice. Come out once v. Sainties, Dundee, Pars, Caley, Raith, Falkirk, Stenny, Dumbarton, Montrose, Arbroath & Kelty. Hard to greet about that. 

Slightly disappointing draw. I've managed to win a fair few bawbees backing group winners in this. No rocket science involved. Two simple rules. Oppose any #1 seed in disarray. (Killie twice & St.Mirren). Oppose any #1 seed with a half-decent & fired-up local rival in the group.  A group where the #1 seed faces an unseeded half-decent & fired-up local rival - or two - that has no issue with the #2 seed is a bonus. Bookies are generally wise to things that simple but they haven't been wise to it in this competition.

There doesn't seem to be a #1 seed in disarray, though several currently have too few contracted players to field an XI. Dundee have two Angus opponents but they're not top seeds and Brora will be straining at the leash for a crack at Ross County in that group. The Bunnet will have Arbroath well motivated for the trip to Tannadice. Airdrie will be gunning for Motherwell. Group H is interesting and I'd be tempted by the likely 6/1+ Partick, who should get St.Mirren at Firhill. 

The repetition isn't "the luck of the draw" at all. A combination of 5 teams groups, seeding and Regionalisation which means it's almost impossible to avoid repetition.

 

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Idle moment, so I came up with what I'd expect the odds for the groups to be. No bookies will be daft enough to chalk up at this stage. I'd not be keen to lay prices. Things are hugely dependent on summer signings. Laugh if you wish, but I expect Hearts, Dundee and Motherwell to come closer to splashing the cash in the next 6 weeks than the other four Premiership clubs. Of the Championship clubs, I expect the Pars and Partick to invest. Regardless of rumblings, I expect Falkirk to have a title-strength squad, but Queen's Park may also have one and I'd say Cove will be no weaker than in the season gone. 

A) 2/7 Hearts, 9/2 Caley, 8/1 Cove, 16/1 Peterhead, 33/1 Stirling.

B) 1/3 Arabs, 11/2 Smokies, 10/1 E.Fife, 10/1 Kelty, 20/1 Elgin.

C) 10/11 Ross, 11/8 Dundee, 9/1 Montrose, 20/1 Forfar, 25/1 Brora.

D) 2/5 Livi, 11/4 Raith, 8/1 Alloa, 33/1 Cowden, 50/1 Brechin.

E) 5/4 Accies, 7/4 Ayr, 11/4 Falkirk, 25/1 Embra, 40/1 Albion.

F) 2/7 Motherwell, 7/1 QotS, 7/1 Queen's Pk, 10/1 Airdrie, 40/1 Annan.

G) 2/5 Killie, 3/1 Morton, 10/1 Clyde, 25/1 Stranraer, 25/1 E.Kilbride.

H) 4/9 St.Mirren, 4/1 Pars, 11/2 Partick, 16/1 Dumbarton, 40/1 Stenny.

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Instead of an open draw, maybe the SFA/SPFL could go to the other extreme. Having semi-permanent groups, like the NFL's divisions, might work. Groups are a wee bit uneven in quality terms, but Sainties might replace Brechin next year. It might put bums on seats.

A - Ross, Caley, Peterhead, Elgin, Brora.

B - Arbroath, Montrose, Forfar, Brechin, Cove.

C - Arabs, Dundee, Alloa, Stenny, Stirling.

D - Pars, Raith, E.Fife, Cowden, Kelty.

E - Hearts, Falkirk, Livi, Embra, Clyde.

F - Well, Accies, Airdrie, Albion, E.Kilbride.

G - St.Mirren, Morton, Partick, Queen's Pk, Dumbarton.

H - Killie, Ayr, QotS, Stranraer, Annan.

Edited by FortescueFotheringhamSmyth
Typo

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Instead of an open draw, maybe the SFA/SPFL could go to the other extreme. Having semi-permanent groups, like the NFL's divisions, might work. Groups are a wee bit uneven in quality terms, but Sainties might replace Brechin next year. It might put bums on seats.
A - Ross, Caley, Peterhead, Elgin, Brora.
B - Arbroath, Montrose, Forfar, Brechin, Cove.
C - Arabs, Dundee, Alloa, Stenny, Stirling.
D - Pars, Raith, E.Fife, Cowden, Kelty.
E - Hearts, Falkirk, Livi, Embra, Clyde.
F - Well, Accies, Airdrie, Albion, E.Kilbride.
G - St.Mirren, Morton, Partick, Queen's Pk, Dumbarton.
H - Killie, Ayr, QotS, Stranraer, Annan.


No thanks - would be fun the first couple of times, but would soon become pretty boring.

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I may have missed this but is there a date or day set for announcing the fixtures?

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Having only 2 regions doesn't necessarily lead to lots of derbies and only short trips - but coupled with only 4 groups in each, and 3 seeding bands based on league position, was bound to cause increasing repetitiveness.

If groupstage is to endure - might be better having no regions, if necessary keeping clubs from opposite fringes apart and/or longer trips to weekends.

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Alternatively, have an open draw and get the sponsors of the cup to, well, sponsor transport for the smaller teams that end up having to go the length of the country. An extra £1000 or whatever or maybe even a couple of free supporters buses...

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Fixtures Announced (Source: https://spfl.co.uk/news/premier-sports-cup-fixture-list)

 

Group stage schedule and TV selections confirmed

The fixture list for the group stage of the 2021/22 Premier Sports Cup has been confirmed, with seven matches to be shown live on Premier Sports.

The competition kicks off on Friday July 9, with SPFL newcomers Kelty Hearts v Dundee United live on TV and the group stage concludes with a televised double header on Sunday July 25 - St Mirren v Partick Thistle followed by Heart of Midlothian v Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

GROUP A

Saturday July 10
Cove Rangers v Stirling Albion (3.00pm)
Peterhead v Heart of Midlothian (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 13
Heart of Midlothian v Cove Rangers (Premier Sports, 7.45pm)
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Peterhead (7.45pm)

Saturday July 17
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Stirling Albion (3.00pm)
Peterhead v Cove Rangers (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 20
Cove Rangers v Inverness Caledonian Thistle (7.45pm)
Stirling Albion v Heart of Midlothian (7.45pm)

Saturday July 24
Stirling Albion v Peterhead (3.00pm)

Sunday July 25
Heart of Midlothian v Inverness Caledonian Thistle (Premier Sports, 5.15pm)

 

 

GROUP B

Friday July 9
Kelty Hearts v Dundee United (Premier Sports, 7.45pm)

Saturday July 10
Elgin City v Arbroath (3.00pm)

Wednesday July 14
Arbroath v East Fife (7.45pm)
Dundee United v Elgin City (7.45pm)

Saturday July 17
Dundee United v Arbroath (3.00pm)
Kelty Hearts v East Fife (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 20
East Fife v Dundee United (7.45pm)
Elgin City v Kelty Hearts (7.45pm)

Saturday July 24
Arbroath v Kelty Hearts (3.00pm)
East Fife v Elgin City (3.00pm)

 

 

GROUP C

Saturday July 10
Forfar Athletic v Ross County (3.00pm)
Montrose v Brora Rangers (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 13
Dundee v Brora Rangers (7.45pm)
Forfar Athletic v Montrose (7.45pm)

Saturday July 17
Brora Rangers v Forfar Athletic (3.00pm)

Sunday July 18
Ross County v Dundee - (Premier Sports, 3.00pm)

Wednesday July 21
Brora Rangers v Ross County (7.45pm)
Montrose v Dundee (7.45pm)

Saturday July 24
Dundee v Forfar Athletic (3.00pm)
Ross County v Montrose (3.00pm)

 

 

GROUP D

Saturday July 10
Brechin City v Livingston (3.00pm)
Cowdenbeath v Raith Rovers (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 13
Alloa Athletic v Cowdenbeath (7.45pm)
Raith Rovers v Brechin City (7.45pm)

Saturday July 17
Alloa Athletic v Livingston (3.00pm)
Cowdenbeath v Brechin City (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 20
Brechin City v Alloa Athletic (7.45pm)

Wednesday July 21
Livingston v Raith Rovers (7.45pm)

Saturday July 24
Livingston v Cowdenbeath (3.00pm)
Raith Rovers v Alloa Athletic (3.00pm)

 

 

GROUP E

Friday July 9
Edinburgh City v Hamilton Academical (7.45pm)

Saturday July 10
Albion Rovers v Ayr United (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 13
Ayr United v Edinburgh City (7.45pm)
Falkirk v Albion Rovers (7.45pm)

Saturday July 17
Albion Rovers v Edinburgh City (3.00pm)
Falkirk v Hamilton Academical (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 20
Hamilton Academical v Ayr United (7.45pm)

Wednesday July 21
Edinburgh City v Falkirk (7.45pm)

Saturday July 24
Ayr United v Falkirk (3.00pm)
Hamilton Academical v Albion Rovers (3.00pm)

 

 

GROUP F

Saturday July 10
Airdrieonians v Annan Athletic (3.00pm)
Queen of the South v Queen's Park (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 13
Annan Athletic v Queen of the South (7.45pm)

Wednesday July 14
Queen's Park v Motherwell - (Premier Sports, 7.45pm)

Saturday July 17
Motherwell v Queen of the South (3.00pm)
Queen's Park v Airdrieonians (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 20
Airdrieonians v Motherwell (Premier Sports, 7.45pm)
Annan Athletic v Queen's Park (7.45pm)

Saturday July 24
Motherwell v Annan Athletic (3.00pm)
Queen of the South v Airdrieonians (3.00pm)

 

 

GROUP G

Saturday July 10
East Kilbride v Kilmarnock (3.00pm)
Stranraer v Morton (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 13
Clyde v Stranraer (7.30pm)
Morton v East Kilbride (7.30pm)

Saturday July 17
Clyde v Kilmarnock (3.00pm)
Stranraer v East Kilbride (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 20
East Kilbride v Clyde (7.45pm)
Kilmarnock v Morton (7.45pm)

Saturday July 24
Kilmarnock v Stranraer (3.00pm)
Morton v Clyde (3.00pm)

 

 

GROUP H

Saturday July 10
Dumbarton v St Mirren (3.00pm)
Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 13
Dumbarton v Stenhousemuir (7.45pm)
St Mirren v Dunfermline Athletic (7.45pm)

Saturday July 17
Dunfermline Athletic v Dumbarton (3.00pm)
Stenhousemuir v Partick Thistle (3.00pm)

Tuesday July 20
Partick Thistle v Dumbarton (7.45pm)
Stenhousemuir v St Mirren (7.30pm)

Saturday July 24
Dunfermline Athletic v Stenhousemuir (3.00pm)

Sunday July 25
St Mirren v Partick Thistle (Premier Sports, 3.00pm)

 

 

Format
Three points for a win and one point for a draw. Drawn matches in the group stage go straight to a penalty shoot-out, with the winners awarded a bonus point 

The eight group winners and three best runners-up qualify for the last 16, where they are joined by European entrants Rangers, Celtic, Hibernian, Aberdeen and cup holders St Johnstone.

Dates for future rounds
Second round - Weekend of August 14/15
Quarter-finals - Midweek of September 21-23
Semi-finals - Weekend of November 20/21
Final - Sunday December 19

Edited by Phillips455

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Collated TV fixtures:

Friday 9th July - Kelty Hearts v Dundee Utd (7.45pm) (B)

Tuesday 13th July - Hearts v Cove Rangers (7.45pm)  (A)

Wednesday 14th July - Queen's Park v Motherwell (7.45pm) (F)

Sunday 18th July - Ross County v Dundee (3pm) (C)

Tuesday 20th July - Airdrieonians v Motherwell (7.45pm) (F)

Sunday 25th July - St Mirren v Partick Thistle (3pm) (H) & Hearts v Inverness CT (5.15pm) (A)

Groups D, E and G don't get a TV game. 

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I really like the group stages. Regionalisation is a bit shite but.

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Evening...Reckon any of the Saturday games would switch to Fridays at all? Specifically thinking of the games currently on the 24th. Planning on viewing a game on the Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Just being a bit greedy! Travelling up with the kids from Sheffield. Plans are: Brechin, Montrose, Dundee and Hearts at the moment.

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9 minutes ago, barnseytheclaret said:

Evening...Reckon any of the Saturday games would switch to Fridays at all? Specifically thinking of the games currently on the 24th. Planning on viewing a game on the Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Just being a bit greedy! Travelling up with the kids from Sheffield. Plans are: Brechin, Montrose, Dundee and Hearts at the moment.

Friday 9th July (7:45pm)
Kelty Hearts v Dundee Utd ... for live TV coverage
Edinburgh City v Hamilton Academical ... claims that Meadowbank isn't ready and City fans think they're maybe sofa-surfing at old landlords Spartans as LTHV have taken-over as lodger

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2 minutes ago, HibeeJibee said:

Friday 9th July (7:45pm)
Kelty Hearts v Dundee Utd ... for live TV coverage
Edinburgh City v Hamilton Academical ... claims that Meadowbank isn't ready and City fans think they're maybe sofa-surfing at old landlords Spartans as LTHV have taken-over as lodger

Yeah, saw those ones...reckon any of the last weekend's games will shift from the Saturday to the Friday, or is that pretty much the final fixture list?

Enjoyed our visit to Elgin vs Hibs a couple of years ago!

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I forgot to ask, is it looking more or less likely that there will be fans admitted to the games? I've got some games in mind, so would hopefully be able to contact the clubs as early as possible and try to secure tickets if necessary. It's quite a long way from Sheffield 🙂

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3 hours ago, barnseytheclaret said:

I forgot to ask, is it looking more or less likely that there will be fans admitted to the games? I've got some games in mind, so would hopefully be able to contact the clubs as early as possible and try to secure tickets if necessary. It's quite a long way from Sheffield 🙂

On paper the country should have dropped another tier by the initial games; then another from the middle weekend.

On paper that initially means 2,000 seated / 1,000 standing; rising to unconfirmed higher numbers in whatever follows tier 0... (but only 1,000 / 500 in councils that have fallen behind; rising to 2,000 / 1,000).

That should be sufficient for many likely crowds.

In practice? Who knows.

It feels like government is allowing even these small crowds only very begrudginly - and many of the regulations are so restrictive many clubs may be unable to realise these headline maximums.

My gut instinct is you'll get to games but not necessarily as many as you want and/or not necessarily those you wish (e.g. Hearts).

There should be plenty non-league games available in east... Lowland and East of Scotland leagues start July 17th, ditto North Juniors; Highland start July 24th; unsure about Midland.

Hibs and Aberdeen could have UEFA Conference League ties on Thursday 22nd July (QR2 1st-leg) but given likely capacities I doubt you'd get a ticket.

Edited by HibeeJibee

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