DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC welcome Airdrie United to East End Park, with both sides involved in battles at the opposite end of the table. The Pars had a dreadful December but have moved back top of the league after winning both of their games so far in January. Conversely, their opponents have picked up just eight points in their last 17 games, and have not won any of their last nine matches in the league.
The sides have met nine times in the league under Airdrie’s current guise, and the Pars are unbeaten in those matches with five wins and four draws. In fact, if you include Dunfermline’s results against the old Airdrieonians, that run extends to 21 league games unbeaten. The last time a side from Airdrie beat the Pars in the league was May 1994, the same month that Tom Daley, diver and presenter of so-bad-you-think-it’s-a-parody TV show “Splash”, was born.
Second placed Greenock Morton will be looking to take advantage of any Pars slip-up when they travel to Falkirk. Morton are unbeaten away from home this season, while Steven Pressley’s side have won just two league matches at the Falkirk Stadium. On a more positive note for the Bairns, they have won 45 of their 71 home league matches against Morton, suffering just 14 defeats.
Top meets bottom in Scotland’s third tier as Queen of the South travel to Cliftonhill to take on Albion Rovers. Queens have dropped just seven points in 19 matches this season, and remain on course to break Gretna’s third tier record points total of 88, set in 2005-06. Rovers, meanwhile, have lost 13 of their 19 games, picking up just four points in their last ten matches. The Doonhamers have not visited Coatbridge since a 1-1 draw in September 1993, when DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (whatever happened to him?) were top of the charts with Boom! Shake the Room. Tick-tick-tick-tick BOOM!
Elsewhere, Arbroath host Alloa Athletic, with both sides having their eye firmly on a place in the play-offs. The Wasps have not won on any of their last seven visits to Gayfield – their last win there came courtesy of a Stuart Callaghan hat-trick in a 3-0 win in 2004. The Red Lichties have scored in all of their home games this season, but have only kept two clean sheets in those matches (both against East Fife).
Queen’s Park welcome Peterhead to Hampden on Saturday, but ironically events at the national stadium on Tuesday may have rendered the game totally meaningless. Both sides are in what looks to be an exciting race for the play-offs, but with the proposal to have an 18-team third tier next season, it may be that these play-offs don’t actually go ahead. The Spiders have won just three of their nine home games, but they will be heartened by the fact that Peterhead have just seven points from their nine away matches. This will be the 30th league meeting between the sides – Peterhead have 15 wins to Queen’s Park’s six so far.
Across Glasgow, Rangers welcome Berwick Rangers to Ibrox as they aim to bounce back from losing their 100% home record last week against Elgin City. Those dropped points mean that Ally McCoist’s side can no longer reach Gretna’s record points total of 98, which was set in 2004-05. Berwick have only played at Ibrox on two previous occasions – losing 0-4 in 1954 and 0-3 in 2002. Rangers have averaged exactly three goals per home league game this season, and have kept clean sheets in five of their nine matches at Ibrox. Berwick have kept just two clean sheets in their last 33 away matches in the league, and have picked up just seven points on the road so far this season.
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