Leaders Partick Thistle welcome Cowdenbeath to Firhill as they aim to continue their winning start to the league campaign. The last time Thistle won six league games in a row was in 2001-02, a season which culminated in them winning promotion to the SPL. Cowden have started well, with three wins from five games so far, but they began their last First Division campaign in similar fashion in 2010-11 and were still relegated.
That 2010-11 season represented the only previous time since World War II when Thistle and Cowdenbeath were in the same division of Scottish football, and the only time the sides have played together in the second tier. Cowden won two of the four meetings, with one draw and one Thistle victory. Including the pre-war matches, Saturday’s game will be the 25th meeting of the sides in the league; Thistle have 12 wins to Cowden’s nine.
At the other end of the table, the bottom two teams clash as Hamilton travel to Dumbarton. Dumbarton equalled the First Division record of 33 consecutive matches without a win last week, and will be hoping to avoid number 34. Hamilton have taken just two points from their first five league games, their worst start to a season in any division since 1999-00’s Second Division campaign. Dumbarton have lost their first five games of the season for the first time ever. The sides are meeting in the league for the first time since 2003-04, and for the first time in the second tier since 1995-96. The clubs have met five times at The Rock, and have two wins apiece.
The game of the day sees early surprise package Forfar travel to Arbroath. Forfar have won four league matches in a row – the last time they won five in a row in a Second Division season was 1983-84: the last time they were promoted out of the division. Arbroath’s home record against their visitors is very poor – they have won just one of their last 11 home league matches against Forfar. Saturday’s match will be the 60th league meeting between the sides at Gayfield, and Forfar have the better of the previous meetings there, with 22 wins to Arbroath’s 21.
Leaders Queen of the South will hope to continue their impressive start to the season when they travel to Brechin. Queens have dominated this fixture, winning 48 of the 93 meetings between the sides in national competitions, while Brechin have picked up just 21 wins. The sides haven’t met at this level since the 1997-98 season, but they did also come across each other in the First Division in 2003-04 and again in 2005-06. The last five league matches between the sides finished as draws. Queens have made their longest ever unbeaten start to a season – their penalty success at Ibrox means they have now avoided defeat in their first ten matches in all competitions.
There is another mouthwatering top of the table clash as Elgin host Queen’s Park. The sides are well acquainted, with six meetings in the league and Scottish Cup last season. In all, they have met 40 times in total, with Queen’s Park winning 21 times to Elgin’s nine. Elgin were also leaders at the same stage last season – but promptly lost 3-0 at home to Clyde. The Spiders have made their best start to a season since their 2000-01 Second Division campaign. That season started with four consecutive wins, but ended in relegation.
Meanwhile, Peterhead will travel to Annan as they aim to regain top spot. The sides faced each other for the first time last season, and the five meetings featured 21 goals. Annan won two of the three meetings at Galabank last season. On Sunday, Rangers host Montrose as they aim to kickstart their stuttering season. Montrose have only visited Ibrox twice (March 1930 and August 1976) and lost on both occasions.