GREENOCK MORTON welcome Raith Rovers to Cappielow as they look to build on their five point lead at the top of the table. Morton have won four of their last five home matches, while Raith have just two wins away from home in the league this season. Worse still for the Rovers, they have lost all five away matches against the sides above them in the table. That said, they do have had a decent recent record in Greenock, having lost just once in their last six games at Cappielow – that particular defeat came earlier this season, when Stephen Stirling’s goal gave Morton the three points.
Morton’s main title rivals Partick Thistle host Cowdenbeath for the first part of their double-header against the Blue Brazil. The teams will also meet next Saturday at Central Park as they catch up with a fixture which was originally postponed in December. Thistle returned to winning ways against Falkirk last week and have won nine of their ten league matches at Firhill this season. Cowden have not won in 15 matches in the league and are now only ahead of Airdrie and Dumbarton on goal difference. Thistle have beaten Cowden twice this season – once in the league and once in the Challenge Cup, but both victories were by a single goal. Indeed, each of the last six meetings between the sides have followed that pattern – Thistle have three single goal wins, Cowden have two and the other was a draw. Neither side have scored more than two goals in any of the matches. The clubs have never drawn at Firhill in the league – Thistle have ten wins and Cowden have three in their previous meetings in Glasgow.
The division’s two form sides meet as Brechin City welcome leaders Queen of the South to Glebe Park. Queens are the only side who have beaten Brechin in the league in 11 matches since Ray McKinnon took over in October – they have eight wins and two draws in his other matches in charge. Allan Johnston’s side have won seven consecutive league matches, and are now just three short of a club record ten consecutive wins set in the 1969-70 season. Queens are unbeaten in their last seven league matches against Brechin, but five of those matches were draws, and they did suffer a defeat in the Scottish Cup at Palmerston in January 2011.
Along the road at Gayfield, Arbroath host Forfar Athletic in a match which could have a huge bearing on the play-off places. The Loons are currently three points ahead of the Red Lichties, but they have played two more matches. Queen of the South are the only side who have beaten Arbroath at Gayfield in the league this season, while Forfar have lost six of their last seven away matches. Both previous league matches between the sides this season finished 1-1, but Arbroath did beat Forfar 3-2 in the Challenge Cup in August. Forfar have scored in each of their last 17 matches against Arbroath in the league (excluding play-offs), stretching back to a goalless draw in August 2003. Forfar actually have the upper hand in the 60 league meetings between the sides at Gayfield, with 22 wins to Arbroath’s 21.
Leaders Rangers welcome third placed Montrose to Ibrox as they aim to continue their march to the title. Montrose have visited Ibrox on three previous occasions and have lost all three matches, conceding 11 goals in the process. Montrose have a nice, even away record this season, having won four and lost four of their ten games on the road. Stuart Garden’s team will be hoping to avoid becoming the first side to lose three league matches to Rangers this season – Peterhead, Annan and Elgin have all met the Ibrox side three times and managed to avoid defeat in one of them.
Elgin City and Queen’s Park meet at Borough Briggs, with both sides looking to prove their play-off credentials. Elgin have slipped out of the play-off places after six matches without a win, while the Spiders have moved in the opposite direction with ten points from their last four matches. Queen’s Park have a better record on the road than they do at Hampden, picking up six wins from nine away matches. This will be the 20th league meeting of the sides at Borough Briggs, and the Spiders have dominated proceedings there thus far, having won nine times to Elgin’s five.
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