After last week’s drama, Hamilton Academical find themselves on top of the table with two matches to go and will be looking to stay there by recording a victory away to Dumbarton. The Accies could even find themselves champions at the end of the day if they prevail, Dundee lose and Falkirk fail to win. Alex Neil’s side are unbeaten in their last 11 league matches, which is their best run since they last won this division back in 2007-08. The biggest concern for Hamilton will be their recent away form: they’ve won just three of their last ten away matches and have drawn 1-1 in their last two matches on the road.
For Dumbarton, this game is their last chance of taking the final promotion spot. Following last week’s defeat to Queen of the South, they sit three points behind the Dumfries side and their substantially poorer goal difference means that defeat will surely rule them out of contention. The Sons have won just six of their 17 home matches this season and have actually taken more points on the road than they have at the Bet Butler Stadium. Since Dumbarton’s promotion, these sides have met eight times with and those matches featuring 36 goals (an average of 4.5 per game), with all of them featuring three or more goals.
If Hamilton slip up then Dundee can move back to the top of the table with a win away to Paul Hartley’s old club Alloa Athletic. It is also a crucial game for the Wasps, who are four points clear of Cowdenbeath and can guarantee their safety with a win. Neither side comes into the match in the greatest of form – Dundee only have one victory in their last four, while Alloa have just three wins in 18 games. Goals could be at a premium in this match – Alloa are the lowest home goalscorers in the division with less than a goal per game, while Dundee have scored just five times in their six away matches under Paul Hartley. The clubs have met at Recreation Park on 11 previous occasions, and Dundee have nine wins to Alloa’s two.
Bottom club Arbroath will be looking to keep up their survival chances when they welcome Dunfermline Athletic to Gayfield. The Red Lichties are a point behind East Fife in ninth place and could be relegated on Saturday if they lose and the Fifers win. However, Paul Sheerin’s men have suddenly found some form and have gone three matches unbeaten for the first time this season. They have won their last two games, and will be aiming to win three league fixtures in a row for the first time since January and February 2012. Despite sitting in second place, the Pars have been in abysmal form of late, with just one win in their last eight matches and none in their last four away from home. They have drawn their last two games and will be aiming to avoid making it three-in-a-row for the first time since March and April 2009.
The Lichties will also have one eye on the action at Bayview where East Fife host Brechin City. Gary Naysmith’s men have lost their last two matches and have not won at home since the end of January, a run of six matches. Brechin, meanwhile, secured their safety courtesy of seven points from their last three games and will be looking to make it four unbeaten for the first time in over a year. Brechin have recorded five consecutive wins over East Fife, all of which have been by a margin of more than one goal.
Stirling Albion are three points clear of Berwick Rangers in the final play-off space, but face a tough trip to Balmoor to take on champions Peterhead. The Blue Toon are unbeaten at home this season and are aiming to become just the second side (after Gretna), to complete a season unbeaten since the fourth tier was introduced in 1994-95. Including last season, Peterhead are unbeaten in 20 home matches, equalling the fourth tier record set by Gretna and Alloa – avoiding defeat on Saturday would see them break that. Stirling are themselves unbeaten in five league matches and have won each of their last two away from home. The Binos have won just twice on 17 trips to Balmoor, although they have picked up a point on a further eight occasions.
Berwick Rangers are three points behind Stirling in that final play-off spot and will be hoping to apply some pressure by winning against Queen’s Park at the Excelsior Stadium. Berwick have won their last two matches (and four of their last five) and they will be aiming to win three league games in a row for the first time this season. The Spiders have also witnessed a big upturn in form in recent weeks and have suffered just one defeat in their last six matches. Their last three fixtures have all finished 1-1, and they could make it four draws in a row for the first time since January and February 2000. They have only won two home fixtures this season – a failure to pick up three points on Saturday would make it their worst tally of home wins since the 1957-58 season, back when they were in the top flight. The Black and Gold have won their last five matches against the Spiders, with an aggregate scoreline of 15-1.
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