Dundee United will be facing a side under “no pressure” as the Irn-Bru Cup enters new waters this weekend.
The introduction of teams from Northern Ireland and Wales has added a bit of spice and generated interest in the competition.
But, while the Tangerines don’t face any of the sides from other countries, they do have a long journey ahead as they travel down the west coast to Stranraer.
The four-hour trek on the coach won’t be ideal but Stranraer boss Brian Reid doesn’t see it as having any bearing on the outcome of the game.
“I don’t think they will use the travelling as an excuse,” said Reid.
“I’m not sure if United will come down tomorrow night or not but their players should be professional enough to deal with it.”
The Stranraer gaffer admits his team are taking each round as it comes and is just asking his players to go and relish the chance of playing teams from a higher division.
He continued: “We’ve just asked the boys to go out and enjoy it.
“There is no pressure on us at all.
“It’s a bonus game for our players as the league is our bread and butter.
“In saying that, the further you get into the cup, the more you want to win it.”
United haven’t had their troubles to seek with injuries but spare a thought for The Blues, who have only 17 in their squad — two of whom are goalkeepers.
“We have had a few injuries and, running with a small squad, the game isn’t ideal this weekend,” added Reid.
“I will get a team on the pitch but it will be patched up and I may have to include some youth players, too.”
While Reid has emphasised his selection problems, United gaffer Ray McKinnon will be warning his men of the danger that lies ahead at Stair Park if they drop their guard.
A similar performance and result to the one which saw them win 3-0 in the Scottish Cup in February, 2015, will keep the Tangerines gaffer happy.
On that day, a Ryan Dow double and a Chris Erskine strike all before half-time saw United cruise into the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, back here on Tayside, Saturday will see Forfar and the competition break new ground when Gary Bollan’s Sky Blues play host to Welsh champions The New Saints.
It’s the first time sides from Wales and Northern Ireland have entered the cup and, for Forfar, a first-ever competitive game against non-Scottish opposition.
On the surface it seems like a step into the unknown but, in typical thorough fashion, Gary has done his homework on the opposition.
He even travelled south just under a fortnight ago to see TNS in action as they continued an impressive start to their season with a league win over Carmarthen.
That trip and a bit of research tells him the side, that just 10 games into their domestic season already look certainties to win a sixth consecutive title, will be tough nuts to crack.
“It’s always difficult to compare leagues but looking at them I would say TNS would be high in the Championship or maybe even hold their own in the Premiership if they were playing up here,” he said.
“They are a full-time club with a bit of money behind them and, like the two Northern Irish clubs, have plenty experience of Champions League qualifiers over the years.
“This summer they made the second round and drew with APOEL Nicosia before going down in the away leg. That shows they are decent.”
In fact, the 3-0 loss in Cyprus was TNS’s only defeat in 15 competitive matches so far this term.
And, despite the low opinion some up here have of Welsh football, Gary believes they are a side capable of going all the way, though his plan is to make sure their first taste of Irn-Bru action only lasts 90 minutes.
“They are strong and I’m just glad we’ve got them up here because it wouldn’t be an easy trip for us if we’d been drawn away.
“We’re looking forward to the game, though.”