Caley Thistle manager John Robertson to be reunited with Hearts in Betfred Cup group stage
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Inverness Caledonian Thistle will face Hearts, Raith Rovers, Cowdenbeath and East Fife in the Betfred Cup group stage after the draw for the 2020/21 competition was made this afternoon.
The cup follows the same format as the last season despite the later start because of the pandemic, with Caley Thistle second seeds in the north section.
ICT were actually drawn in the same group as the Jambos two seasons ago, where controversy reigned over an ineligible player fielded by the Tynecastle outfit.
Hearts were deducted two points at the time, and eventually knocked Inverness out on goal difference after a 5–0 win on the final day.
They met again last summer in a fundraising match for Angus Beith, and two sides will be expected to compete for the Championship title after Hearts' relegation from the top flight
Another all-Championship clash will come in the form of John McGlynn's Raith Rovers, who ICT are still due to face in the delayed 2019/20 Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup too.
Robertson led his side to a 5–2 win over Cowdenbeath in the League Cup group stage in 2018, but it will be the first time Caley Thistle face East Fife competitively in over 20 years.
The last time those two sides met in march 1999, Inverness won 4–0 thanks to goals from Scott McLean, Barry Wilson, Paul Sheerin and Mike Teasdale.
Elsewhere in the draw, Ross County will be strong favourites to top their group including Arbroath, Montrose, Elgin City and Stirling Albion.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
The first Betfred Cup group games are scheduled for Tuesday, October 6, with matches to follow on Saturday, October 10 and Tuesday, October 13.
Then there will be a break as league matches resume, before the final two rounds of fixtures on Tuesday, November 10 and Saturday, November 14 subject to television schedules.