League leaders Dundee will be aiming to continue their impressive start under Paul Hartley when they welcome Cowdenbeath to Dens Park. Both teams come into the match with unbeaten runs, and both have collected ten points from their last six league matches. Dundee have conceded just 20 Championship goals this season – the joint best defensive record in the division – but they have struggled to score of late, netting only three in their last five fixtures. They may fancy their chances on Saturday, with Cowden having conceded 50, the league’s highest total. The Blue Brazil will be hoping they can take their good home record into the game – they’ve won ten of their 16 meetings against Dundee at Central Park. Furthermore, the last time the sides met at Dens, Cowden triumphed 2-1.
If Greenock Morton are to have any chance of avoiding automatic relegation, they will surely have to pick up a victory at home to struggling Alloa Athletic at Cappielow. Kenny Shiels’ men are unbeaten in their last five games, but four of them ended as draws. Their major malfunction has been their lack of goals – they have scored more than once in just three of their 24 league matches (and haven’t done it in any of their last 12). Saturday should provide them with a chance to rectify that – Alloa have gone eight matches without a win, oddly enough since beating Morton in December. The Ton have lost two of their 41 home league matches against the Wasps, but the latest defeat came in October.
Stranraer will be looking to bounce back from their midweek Scottish Cup elimination when they take on play-off chasing Brechin City at Glebe Park. Steve Aitken’s side have gone four league games without a win – three of them ended in stalemate while the only defeat came against Dunfermline Athletic, the only side to have beaten them in the league since mid-September. Brechin have hit a decent run and only Rangers have collected more points in League 1 over the last six matches, but they suffered a surprise defeat to Airdrieonians last weekend and they now sit five points behind Ayr United in fourth. Stranraer have not won any of their last eight matches at Glebe Park – their last success there came in 2005 courtesy of a 3-2 victory, with all three of the goals coming in the opening 19 minutes.
At the opposite end of the table, East Fife host Airdrieonians in a winner takes all fight to the death (okay, not quite). East Fife have stuttered of late, taking one point from their last three matches while Airdrie appeared to have found their feet under Gary Bollan and are unbeaten in four. That said, the Fifers have won more home games than any other side in the bottom half of the division (five), while the Diamonds have a single away win all season, and have not won on the road other than at East End Park since October 2012. East Fife have also won the last three matches between the two sides at Bayview without conceding a single goal.
The battle for the play-offs intensifies as East Stirlingshire host Berwick Rangers in a match that could be simply billed as “fourth versus sixth”. The Shire have returned to form of late and have picked up back-to-back wins for the first time since August, propelling them back into the final play-off spot. Berwick have been undergoing a revival under the stewardship of Colin Cameron, but their upturn was abruptly halted by Elgin City last weekend. The Shire have lost three of their 12 league matches at home this term – a record only bettered by leaders Peterhead. However, Berwick are unbeaten in their last four on the road, keeping three clean sheets in the process. The Black and Gold have won five of their last six matches against the Shire, but their only defeat in this period came at their last visit to Ochilview.
Third place Clyde and eighth place Montrose are separated by just seven points ahead of tomorrow’s meeting at Broadwood, and the outcome could have a significant impact on both sides’ play-off aspirations. Clyde have stuttered of late, winning just two of their last eight matches, while Montrose are in a similar funk with three victories in their last 14. This will be the 60th meeting between the sides in all competitions, and Clyde have the upper hand with 28 wins to Montrose’s 19. That said, Stuart Garden’s side have picked up three wins in their last four visits to Broadwood, an ominous sign.
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