There’s a huge clash at the foot of the table as Hibernian in eighth welcome bottom club Cowdenbeath to Easter Road. Hibs have suffered three consecutive defeats, and have only picked up ten points from their last 21 league matches. The Blue Brazil, meanwhile, have also lost three league games in a row, and have already conceded ten goals in their opening four league matches. The sides have not met competitively in the league since a 2-2 draw in at Easter Road in January 1971 – that 1970-71 top flight season represented the only previous time since World War II that the sides have shared the same division. The match will be just the tenth meeting of the teams at Easter Road on league duty – Hibs have five wins to Cowden’s two; both those victories came in 1926 and 1929.
Their fellow relegation battlers Dumbarton take on league leaders Heart of Midlothian at the Bet Butler Stadium, and the Jambos are aiming to maintain their 100 per cent record. The Sons lost their opening three league matches but picked up a win against Livingston last time out and kept their first league clean sheets since January in the process. They have not enjoyed consecutive shut outs in the league since November 2011, when they beat East Fife 3-0 and drew 0-0 with Cowdenbeath in the Second Division. Hearts have won all four of their league matches this season and are looking to win five-in-a-row for the first time since November and December of 2010. This match will be the first between the sides in over 20 years – their last meeting was a 4-0 Hearts win at Boghead in a League Cup tie in August 1994, and “Love is All Around” by Wet Wet Wet was at number one. You have to go even further back for the last league meeting – that was a 3-1 Hearts victory at Boghead in March 1985.
Leaders Ayr United will be looking to continue their unbeaten start when they welcome struggling Stranraer to Somerset Park. With three wins and a draw from four matches, Ayr have made their best start to a league campaign since 2000-01 when they finished second in the First Division. Stranraer have yet to win a league match this season, and their only away league victory in 2014 came against Brechin City in February. The two meetings at Somerset Park last season yielded a whopping 14 goals, while each of the last six meetings in Ayr have featured three or more goals. This will be the 40th meeting of the sides at Somerset Park, and the fixture has tended to be very one-sided: Ayr have 26 wins to Stranraer’s six.
Airdrieonians will be looking to lift themselves off the bottom of the table when they travel to Cappielow to take on Greenock Morton. Airdrie have yet to even score a goal in the league this season – if they fail to do so on Saturday it will be the first time since their rebirth in 2002 that they have gone five league matches without netting. The Ton, meanwhile, have already played five cup ties in Greenock this season but this will be just their second home league match of the campaign. Including the tail end of last season, they are unbeaten in five league matches at Cappielow and have conceded just one goal. The last time the sides were in the same division was during the 2012-13 First Division campaign and Morton won all four matches and scored 14 goals in the process.
Leaders Arbroath will be hoping to keep up their winning start when they welcome East Fife to Gayfield. The sides have had contrasting fortunes since being relegated from League 1 last season – Arbroath have a 100 per cent record, while East Fife have taken just three points from their first four fixtures. The Red Lichties have started a league season with four consecutive wins for the first time since 1958-59 – they have never kicked off a season with five-in-a-row. East Fife started with three defeats in a row, but did pick up a victory over East Stirlingshire last time out and will now look to pick up two consecutive league wins for just the third time since the start of 2013. Arbroath are unbeaten in their last seven home matches against East Fife, picking up four wins and three draws in the process.
Montrose and Albion Rovers will both be looking to build on good starts to the season when they clash at Links Park on Saturday. Both sides have suffered just one league defeat (both against Arbroath at Gayfield) and have won all of their other fixtures. Including the end of last season, Montrose have won three consecutive home matches – they haven’t managed four-in-a-row since the spring of 2009. In contrast, Rovers have suffered seven away defeats on the spin in the league and are now more than halfway to their club record of 12. Matches between these sides have not been particularly high scoring affairs – both teams have scored in just four of the last 17 meetings.
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