Third place Falkirk host Hamilton Academical in second as both sides aim to apply some pressure on league leaders Dundee. Since Mark Millar’s return on loan, the Bairns are unbeaten in their last seven league matches, winning five and drawing two, as well as keeping clean sheets in each of their last three games. The Accies have been struggling on the road recently, winning just two of their last eight matches away from home. However, the Lanarkshire side have won each of their last three matches against Falkirk and will be looking to make it four-in-a-row for the first time ever.
At the opposite end of the table, ninth place Cowdenbeath host seventh placed Dumbarton, with the sides just six points apart in the battle to avoid the relegation play-offs. Cowden have picked up seven points from their last four matches, but they were all collected away from home – they have suffered four consecutive defeats at Central Park. Dumbarton, meanwhile, beat Greenock Morton in their last match and will be aiming to record two consecutive league wins for the first time this season. Recent form suggests we’ll get a result one way or another: the Blue Brazil have not drawn at home since April, while the Sons’ last away draw was way back in October 2012. On top of that, only 18 per cent of the 148 competitive matches between the sides have ended in stalemate.
The division’s two form sides (outside of Rangers) meet on Saturday, as second placed Dunfermline Athletic welcome third placed Stranraer to East End Park. Dunfermline have taken 19 points from their last eight matches, while Stranraer have taken a whopping 32 points out of the last 39 available, with their only defeat coming at home to the Pars in October. Previous league meetings at East End Park have been about as one sided as you can get – all Stanraer have to show from 15 trips to Fife is a solitary point earned back in November 1983, when Billy Joel was at number 1 with “Uptown Girl”.
At the opposite end of the table there’s a crucial Angus derby as ninth-placed Arbroath take on Brechin City, who sit five points ahead of them in eighth. The Red Lichties have just two points from their last ten league matches and are now just two points ahead of Airdrieonians in the automatic relegation spot. Brechin’s form has not been much better – they’ve won just three of their last 16 league games, although one of those did come against Arbroath back in October. Brechin have won five of their last six matches against Arbroath, with the only defeat coming in the previous league meeting at Gayfield this season.
Leaders Peterhead will be looking to extend their unbeaten league run to ten matches when they travel to Ochilview to take on East Stirlingshire. On the 5 November, the Shire were top of the league while Peterhead sat in seventh, but contrasting form means that just over two months later, the Blue Toon have climbed to the top of the table while the Shire have slumped to sixth. John Coughlin’s side have just one win in their last nine league matches, and have won only two of their nine home league games this season. Peterhead, meanwhile, have taken 23 points from their last nine matches and have embarked on a run of four consecutive away wins. Jim McInally’s side are unbeaten in their last five matches against East Stirlingshire and have found the net 17 times in that run.
Second place Annan Athletic will be hoping to keep the pressure on Peterhead when they take on a stuttering Berwick Rangers side. Annan have recorded three consecutive league wins, and will be aiming to make that four in a row for just the third time since being elected to the league in 2008. Berwick have just three wins in their last 14 league matches, but remain just five points off a play-off spot, and did record a win over Annan in their earlier meeting at Shielfield Park this season. This will be the 25th competitive meeting of the two sides, and Berwick have the slightly upper hand with eight wins to Annan’s seven so far.
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