THE game of the day sees Falkirk renewing hostilities with Dunfermline after a year’s hiatus. The Pars took ten points from their four matches against the Bairns in 2010-11 on their way to promotion, winning both games at the Falkirk Stadium. Indeed, the Dunfermline have won on three of their six previous meetings in Grangemouth, with each success coming by a single goal margin. Meetings at this level are surprisingly rare – this will be just the tenth season where they have been together in the second tier. Dunfermline are unbeaten in their last nine Division One games against Falkirk. The last Bairns manager to beat them at this level was none other than Jim Jefferies, way back in January 1994.
Including the matches at the tail end of their promotion season, Dunfermline have won 12 of their last 13 matches in this division, the only aberration being the 1-0 home defeat to Partick Thistle in August. They have already won more league matches this season than they did in their ill-fated SPL campaign last term. Falkirk have drawn their last three league matches; the last time they picked up four draws in a row was October 1981.
Leaders Partick Thistle face a trip to Cappielow to face an in-form Greenock Morton side. Allan Moore’s team will be looking to pick up a fifth consecutive win in the league, something they haven’t managed at this level since January-February of 1996. Thistle have scored in each of their last 11 league games – the last time they failed to score was on their last trip to Greenock back in April. Morton, meanwhile, have won four of their last five home matches against the Jags.
Queen of the South will make the short journey to struggling Stranraer as they aim to maintain their impressive start to the season. The Doonhamers are looking for a sixth consecutive league win, something they haven’t achieved since February-April 1999. Queens have kept clean sheets in six of their seven league games so far this season, with Ayr United the only team to score against them so far.
The two sides will meet on league duty for the first time since the 2005-06 season when their four matches in the First Division yielded just four goals. Stranraer have only lost one of their last seven home games against Queens, but haven’t always enjoyed success when hosting the Dumfries side. Indeed, Queens’ record win (and Stranraer’s record defeat) was an 11-1 success at Stair Park in 1932.
Elsewhere, two Angus powerhouses clash as Brechin City travel to Arbroath. Brechin have lost each of their last seven away matches, but their last victory on the road came on their last trip to Gayfield in March. That win continued their good form at Gayfield – they have suffered defeat just once in their last eight visits. Arbroath’s supporters have been guaranteed entertainment this season, having already witnessed 49 goals in 12 matches.
With leaders Queen’s Park’s match against Annan called off due to the visitors’ Scottish Cup commitments, Rangers have the chance to go top as they visit Stirling Albion on Saturday on what will be their first visit to Forthbank. The Glasgow side have been unable to record a league win on the road so far this season, but even a draw would take them to the summit. The Binos have won just three home matches in 2012, beating Stenhousemuir, Albion Rovers and Annan.
Third-placed Peterhead will be looking to bounce back from two consecutive defeats as they host Berwick Rangers. Peterhead have won five of the eight previous meetings in the league, including a 9-2 trouncing at Balmoor in January 2008 which represented their highest scoring match since joining the SFL. Berwick have never kept a single clean sheet against Peterhead in the league, and have conceded ten goals in three away matches so far this season.
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