Premiership play-off quarter-final
Queen of the South and Falkirk will enter uncharted territory as they compete in the first match of the new SPFL Premiership play-offs. Both sides will also be competing in play-off matches for the first time in their history. As the third placed club, Falkirk have home advantage in the second leg and travel to Palmerston tonight. The Doonhamers have eight wins and just two defeats in their last 12 home matches, but one of those defeats came against Falkirk in April. The Bairns come into the match in superb form, with six wins and a draw in their last seven matches. They only suffered four defeats in their last 25 league fixtures, although one of those came on their first trip to Dumfries back in February. Falkirk have the upper hand in the recent meetings between these sides, with seven wins and just one defeat in the last nine.
Championship play-off semi-finals
Stranraer meet Dunfermline Athletic at Stair Park in the semi-final first leg, as both sides aim for a spot in next season’s Championship. The Blues will be involved in the play-offs for the fifth time, but they have yet to win them: they had one previous semi-final defeat in what would have been the Championship play-offs, and one semi-final defeat and two final defeats in the League 1 play-offs. The Pars are involved for the third time (including a play-off against the Premier League Aberdeen at the end of the 1994-95 season) – they were relegated via the competition last season, losing to Alloa Athletic in the final. Stranraer only won four of their 18 matches in the second half of the season, and before Saturday they had gone nine games without a victory. Their opponents are in similarly poor form though – the Pars picked up just two wins in their last ten matches and lost three of their last five away from home. The only previous two-legged meeting between these sides came in the first round of the League Cup in 1979-80, when the first leg at Stair Park finished goalless, before Stranraer won 4-2 after extra-time at East End Park.
The other semi-final pits Cowdenbeath against Ayr United, with the first leg at Somerset Park on Wednesday. The Blue Brazil are involved in the play-offs for the fifth time and have had one success so far, winning the First Division play-offs in 2009-10. They also reached the final of the Second Division play-offs in the previous season, and despite losing to Stenhousemuir on penalties they ended up being promoted as a result of Livingston’s demotion to the basement tier. Ayr have taken part in these play-offs on three occasions and have won them twice, but their most recent involvement in 2011-12 was a semi-final defeat to Airdrie United. The last meeting at Somerset Park was a 2-0 win for Ayr in the League Cup in 2010 but prior to that, Cowden had three wins and a draw in their last four league visits.
League 1 play-off semi-finals
Stirling Albion welcome Annan Athletic to Forthbank for the first leg of their League 1 play-off semi-final. Both clubs have had one previous play-off appearance: Annan lost to Albion Rovers in this division in 2010-11, while the Binos won the First Division play-offs in 2006-07 after beating Airdrie in the final. Stirling are in superb form heading into the match, with five wins and a draw in their last six game but their opponents aren’t doing too badly either with five victories in their last nine league matches. Annan have only beaten the Binos twice in eight meetings so far, but did take four points from two visits to Forthbank this season.
Clyde host East Fife in the other semi-final, with both sides looking to repeat play-off heroics of the past. Clyde’s only previous involvement in play-offs was in the Championship in 2007-08, when they beat Alloa and Airdrie to stay up. East Fife stayed up via these play-offs last season, and also made it to the final in 2006-07 before losing to Queen’s Park. Clyde have suffered just one defeat in their last seven home matches against East Fife, picking up three wins and three draws.
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