Who areThe New Saints?
Unlike the travelling Queen of the South, their opponents on Sunday regularly play in Europe and have entertained the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool in their nondomestic adventures.
In fact, in 2010 The New Saints came within one round of qualifying for the Champions League group stages, only to lose out heavily to Belgian giants Anderlecht.
The Welsh Premier League side, who have had a series of different names in their 58 year existence, including Total Network Solutions, are actually based over the border in Oswestry, Shropshire and play at Park Hall in the town – a 2,000 capacity ground.
They’ve won the Welsh title six years in a row and once again top the table after 12 games in 2017/18.
Their current side led by manager Scott Ruscoe contains a few familiar faces that Queens fans will no doubt recognise. Ex-Hamilton Accies and Dumbarton midfielder Jon Routledge has appeared at Palmerston and former Scotland international defender Steve Saunders actually spent time training with the Doonhamers a couple of summers ago as he looked for a new club. Another player who has featured in Scotland is striker Wes Fletcher who had a stint with Motherwell before his move to TNS. The game is the hosts’ third home draw in the Irn-Bru Cup this season, in contrast with the 2016/2017 competition which saw three consecutive away matches. Wins at Forfar Athletic and Livingston were followed by a semifinal defeat at St Mirren. This time around Queens’ fellow Championship side Livingston have also been overcome along with League two Elgin City. Ruscoe said: “It’s a big game. They’re a good side, a mixture of youth and experience. “It’s going to be a tough test and everyone needs to be at their best if we are going to beat them.”