What a game in prospect this Saturday as Largs host Kilwinning in the last eight of the Macron Scottish Cup.

It was strange that Largs did not play Ben Black and Mark Millar in the recent league encounter.

Hopefully if they are injured they will recover in time for Saturday's big quarter final.

Largs were also missing Nicky Jamieson in defence. He is an important figure in the Thistle defence, and Largs will be hoping he can return in time for the big match.

The 3-1 result gives the Buffs a boost going into the cup game, and it looks like the Largs squad does need strengthening.

It will be a different game though this weekend and I am still backing Largs to make it through to the semi-finals.

Largs boss Stuart Davidson is very astute and I am sure he would have learned from the league defeat.

Largs have only got to the quarter finals of the tournament six times in their history, and when Frank Lovering and me were in charge of Thistle, we reached the quarters in 2002.

We played against a Shettleston side who featured former Celtic striker Tommy Coyne.

We had to fight back to get a late equaliser at Barrfields Park courtesy of defender Robert Wraith.

We lost out in the replay in Glasgow but I felt we perhaps made a mistake in not starting with Alan Blaikie who was a new signing.

Alan was a speedy winger and in hindsight he may well have made a positive impact.

This weekend's match will be played on the astroturf at Barrfields of course, and it is interesting to see that plastic pitches are gaining a lot of coverage in the Scottish Premiership.

There have been various calls from players and managers for artificial pitches to be banned from the top flight.

I don't agree. I have played at Rugby Park, Barrfields, and at Port Glasgow's ground at Parklea which are all astroturf, and don't see what the big problem is.

It is a faster playing surface and players do need to adapt to it.

Critics keep saying about bad injuries and you catch your studs but I think you need to be wearing the proper footwear.

It will be a completely different game for Largs and Kilwinning football wise this Saturday.

Another team who don't seem to be having any problems on 3G is Beith who play friendlies every Monday night, and took eight goals off another Premiership side in Troon last week.

I even remember playing on the old red gravel parks and we had some right good matches even in the winter.

Times have changed with 3G football pitches, and both Largs and Buffs will be on their game this Saturday for the big cup match.

You have Kilwinning's livewire manager Chris Strain in the dug-out who is the total opposite of Stuart Davidson who is very laid back.

It is Mark Millar versus Kilwinning's Gary Fleming in the midfield which will be the big battle to watch.

It should be a cracking atmosphere and hopefully the Largs support come out in big numbers in what should be a cup cracker.