THE stand-out fixture in the First Division is the top of the table clash between Partick Thistle and Dunfermline at Firhill. The Pars have only suffered one defeat in their last 22 matches in this division, but that came at home to the Jags in August. Dunfermline have not scored in any of their last four matches against Thistle – Andy Kirk was the last player to score for them in the fixture when he notched the second goal in a 2-0 win back in September 2010. The last eight meetings between the sides at Firhill have been very even – the sides have four wins apiece though the Pars have scored one more goal. The only previous meeting on the 10 November was a day to forget for Dunfermline as they crashed to a 7-1 defeat at Firhill in 1934.
With those two battling it out, third placed Greenock Morton will look to take advantage by winning at home to Hamilton Academical. Morton have hosted Hamilton 75 times and dominated the fixture with 42 wins to Accies’ 17. Hamilton have had the upper hand in recent years though – Morton’s last home win against Accies came in February 1999, the day before Britney Spears went to number 1 with her debut single “…Baby One More Time”. Morton’s record against Accies at Cappielow has been “Toxic” since then – they have gone eight matches without a win, drawing the first four and then losing the most recent four.
The Second Division card has been hit by Scottish Cup replays, leaving only two of the five fixtures intact. Stenhousemuir host Ayr United as both sides look to take advantage of the postponements by moving into the play-off places. Ayr have scored in each of their last 14 matches against Stenny – the last time they failed to score was way back April 1988. The Honest Men have only won four away matches in 2012, and three of those were against Livingston. The Warriors guarantee entertainment – there have been 28 goals in their last five league matches – but can’t guarantee results, having picked up just one win in those five matches, despite scoring at least twice in each of them.
The other match sees East Fife looking to pull themselves out of the relegation play-off place when they host Alloa. This will be the 60th league meeting of the sides in Methil, and the home side have won 34 of those to Alloa’s 16. The Wasps have won their last three league matches – the last time they won four in a row at this level was in 2009-10 when they went on to finish in second place.
Rangers will look to maintain their place at the top of the table when they welcome Peterhead to Ibrox. Peterhead’s only previous trip to Ibrox was back in January 2006 in the Scottish Cup, when they suffered a 5-0 defeat thanks to a hat-trick from Kris Boyd. Rangers have scored 34 times in their 10 home league matches this season while Peterhead have lost each of their last four away matches, including a Scottish Cup defeat to Deveronvale.
If the leaders slip up, then Elgin City can go top with a win at home to Berwick Rangers. This will be the 30th meeting of the two sides, with Elgin having won just six times to Berwick’s 15. The good news for City is that all of their wins came at Borough Briggs – indeed they have won each of their last three home matches against Berwick, scoring 11 times in the process. Elgin have only failed to score once in their 13 home matches against the Borderers. Elgin have drawn each of their last three league matches (all of them with the same 2-2 scoreline), and another draw would see them equal their club record for consecutive draws in the SFL which was set between October and November 2002.
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