SWPL Cup Quarter Finals Preview

Domestic football returns to Scotland this Sunday following the international break with attention turned to the SWPL Cup Quarter Finals. Ahead of kick off on Sunday, we’ve previewed all four ties as the seven SWPL1 sides and the one SWPL2 side look to take another step closer to a final that will be contested at Firhill on Sunday December 5th.

GLASGOW CITY (SWPL1) v PARTICK THISTLE (SWPL1) | PETERSHILL PARK | 13:00

How they qualified?

It was three wins from three in the group stages as Glasgow City look to win a first SWPL Cup since a 2-1 extra time victory over Hibernian in 2015. City opened their campaign with a 9-0 victory away to SWPL2 Glasgow Women before a 4-1 home victory over Spartans ensured they qualified for the quarter finals. A 6-0 victory away to Hamilton Accies confirmed top spot in Group C. This Sunday’s match will be Interim Head Coach Grant Scott’s penultimate game in charge ahead of the 8th November at which point former Peamount United and Republic of Ireland Assistant Eileen Gleeson takes over.

Thistle’s path to the quarter final was less straightforward. An opening Group D defeat to Celtic was changed from a 3-1 loss to a 3-0 walkover as a result of a player registration issue but they bounced back to pick up a 4-0 victory away to SWPL2 St. Johnstone meaning a point away to SWPL1 rivals Hearts would secure their path to the group stages. That point would duly come courtesy of a 0-0 draw at Oriam.

Form Guide

City have maintained their unbeaten start to the season after being held to a 1-1 draw by league leaders Rangers last time out, although the loss of captain Jo Love to an ACL injury during that game will be a significant blow for the remainder of the season. After a run of three successive league defeats Thistle have picked up four points from their last two games, surprising Hibernian with a 3-2 victory before sharing the points with Hamilton Accies in their last outing.

This Season So Far Head to Head

The Petershill Park rivals met at the end of September with City running out 3-1 winners despite going a goal down to a strike from on loan Celtic striker London Pollard. A double from Cailin Michie and a late Priscilla Chinchilla strike saw City come through a game in which Thistle provided stodgy and physical opposition.

SPARTANS (SWPL1) v DUNDEE UNITED (SWPL2) | AINSLIE PARK | 13:00

How they qualified?

Spartans secured their spot in the quarter finals on goal difference thanks to a 4-0 victory away to Glasgow Women, with current tournament top goalscorer Becky Galbraith netting a 15 minute hat-trick to edge them ahead of Hamilton Accies who they shared four goals with in the opening round of fixtures. Splitting those results was a 4-1 defeat to Glasgow City as they finished runners up to the 14-time-in-a-row SWPL1 champions.

Dundee United are the sole SWPL2 side remaining in the tournament and started their campaign with a 10-0 victory over Forfar Farmington, however that result would be annulled with the Angus side withdrawing from SWPL competitions for the season. That performance was followed up with a 7-1 victory away to Stirling University with Danni McGinley scoring a hat trick before they suffered a heavy midweek defeat to cup holders Hibernian, losing 10-2 at North End Park.

Form Guide

Spartans have had an up and down season so far but their 2-2 draw away to Celtic, a game they will feel they should have won having been 2-1 up deep into injury time, shows that on their day they are a match for even the best sides in the country, former Rangers striker Rosie McQuillan netting both goals for a side that is still blessed with an experienced core. United currently sit second in SWPL2 having made an unbeaten start to the season. Covid issues at St. Johnstone and the uneven game weeks in Scotland’s second tier mean it has been three weeks since their last outing a 2-1 win away to Boroughmuir Thistle in the league.

This Season So Far Head to Head

This will be the sides first meeting of the season although they did contest a friendly ahead of the current campaign. Spartans won that day but it was a game where both sides rotated heavily throughout.

ABERDEEN (SWPL1) v HIBERNIAN (SWPL1) | BALMORAL STADIUM | 16:00

How they qualified?

Last season’s SWPL2 champions Aberdeen secured their place in the quarter final by finishing runner up behind Rangers in Group A. Winning three out of four they began with a home 2-1 victory over SWPL2 Boroughmuir Thistle. A 4-0 victory away to another SWPL2 side, this time Queen’s Park saw them maintain their perfect start before a Bayley Hutchison strike secured a 1-0 win over SWPL1 rivals Motherwell and a place in the quarter finals with a game to spare. They ended their group stages with a 5-2 loss to Rangers in an entertaining game in which the Glasgow side accelerated away, scoring four goals in 15 second half minutes.

No side scored more than Hibernian in the group stages and the current SWPL Cup holders, winners on penalties against Glasgow City in the 2019 Final, will be looking to the cup as their best opportunity for silverware following a stuttering run of league form. They scored 24 goals as they finished top of Group B following up an opening 4-0 win against Kilmarnock with two ten goal hauls. First a 10-0 victory over Stirling University and then a 10-2 victory away to Dundee United, with both American striker Alexa Coyle and midfielder Amy Gallacher scoring five goals each across the three games.

Form Guide

After a promising start to the season the Dons have lost their last three games including an 8-0 loss to Rangers and the giving up of a 2-0 lead at home to bottom placed Hearts as the Jambos secured their first league win of the season.

Following a defeat to Rangers and then a surprise 3-2 loss to Partick Thistle Dean Gibson’s side bounced back with victory over their opponents on Sunday. They currently sit five points ahead of the Dons in the SWPL1 table but also sit five points outside the Champions League places, their stretch ambition for the season.

This Season So Far Head to Head

Prior to the international break the two sides faced each other at the Tony Macaroni Arena with a long range effort from September Player of the Month Colette Cavanagh the difference as the Edinburgh side secured a 1-0 victory.

RANGERS (SWPL1) v CELTIC (SWPL1) | RANGERS TRAINING CENTRE | 16:00

How they qualified?

Rangers qualified with four wins from four as they go in search of a first ever senior women’s honour. Malky Thomson’s side were rampant in the group stages following up an 8-0 home win over Queen’s Park with a 5-0 win away to Motherwell to all but secure qualification with just two games played. A 5-2 win over Aberdeen confirmed progress with a final game 4-0 victory away to Boroughmuir Thistle, where teenagers Jodi McLeary and Emma Watson both scored their first competitive goals for the club, secured top spot.

Celtic’s route to a 100% record in the group stages was a bit more convoluted, blighted by administrative and off the field issues experienced by their Group D opponents. A 3-1 victory away to Partick Thistle was awarded as a 3-0 victory following an ineligible player being listed by the Jags before a 2-0 victory at home to Hearts would be the only result of their three games to stand. Their final tie away to St. Johnstone was awarded as a 3-0 win when the Perth side were unable to field a team.

Form Guide

Both sides have made unbeaten starts to the season with Rangers currently top of the standings, their 1-1 draw away to Glasgow City prior to the international break ending a run of five consecutive defeats against their two Glasgow title rivals. No side in SWPL1 has scored more or conceded less than the league leaders so far this season.

Celtic’s domestic unbeaten run now stretches to 20 games, their last defeat coming at home to Glasgow City back in April last season. That said they will have been disappointed to have dropped points at home to Spartans prior to the international break, Fran Alonso’s side needing a 93rd minute equaliser from SWPL1 leading goalscorer Charlie Wellings to salvage a point.

This Season So Far Head to Head

This is the side’s first meeting this season but will form part of a SWPL Cup/League double header over the next seven days. Last season Celtic won all three ties between the two sides including a 1-0 victory at Celtic Park the last time the two sides met.

ALL FOUR TIES

Glasgow City v Partick Thistle

Spartans v Dundee United

Aberdeen v Hibernian

Rangers v Celtic

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