The Scottish Cup weekend has taken its toll on the Championship fixture list, but both of the two remaining fixtures feature the league’s top four teams. Paul Hartley will take charge of Dundee for the first time as his side host third place Hamilton Academical, and those clubs will be looking to bounce back from a run of three matches without a win. Dens Park has hardly been a fortress of late, with Dundee picking up one win in their last five home fixtures under John “Bomber” Brown. Furthermore, the Accies are unbeaten in their last four visits to the City of Discovery, picking up one win and three draws. They will need to improve their leaky defence if they’re to make it five – despite scoring three goals in each of their last two matches, they’ve taken just a single point.
League leaders Falkirk will be aiming to extend their 11-match unbeaten run when they travel to Palmerston to take on Queen of the South. The Bairns have recorded three consecutive wins away from home without losing a goal – in fact, they’ve only conceded six times on the road all season. In addition, they’re unbeaten on their last six visits to Dumfries, a run which includes two 5-1 wins. The Doonhamers shouldn’t be too disheartened, however – they’ve taken 17 points from their last eight matches and jumped from eighth to fourth in the table in the process.
Brechin City versus East Fife at Glebe Park is undoubtedly the game of the day in the third tier, mainly because it’s the only game going ahead. Brechin find themselves seven points from the play-off places, while the Fifers are six clear from ninth. Neither side has recorded a draw in their last ten league matches – Ray McKinnon’s men have recorded five wins and five defeats, while Gary Naysmith’s crack troops have four victories and six losses.
East Fife are the lowest scoring side in the division this season with 20, and have netted just eight times on their travels. They may fancy their chances against an opposition who have conceded 11 goals in their last four home games. That said, Brechin have won the last four meetings between the teams, scoring 14 goals and losing just one.
Leaders Peterhead travel to Forthbank to take on a Stirling Albion side clinging onto the final play-off place. The Blue Toon have suffered defeat just once in their last 12 league matches, and remarkably have gone over a year without drawing a league match away from home – in that period, they’ve recorded 13 wins and five defeats on their travels. Curiously enough, one of those defeats came at their last visit to Stirling back in August. Goals from Dale Fulton and Phil Johnston handed the Binos a 2-0 win. Greig McDonald’s side, meanwhile, are in poor form with two wins in their last eight.
Annan Athletic will be hoping to keep themselves in the hunt for the title by beating struggling Montrose at Galabank. Expect goals – Annan are the league’s second highest scorers while only the bottom two have conceded more times than Montrose. The Gable Endies have a dreadful record against Annan, picking up three wins in the 22 league meetings between the sides. Their current form isn’t much to shout home about either – they’ve recorded just two wins in their last 12 and are five points adrift of the play-off places.
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