Ladbrokes Championship: Chasing pack to keep the pressure on Rangers

After a truncated fixture list last weekend, we are back with a bang in the Ladbrokes Championship with four fixtures looking to follow on where Friday night’s fixture between St Mirren and Morton left off.

Rangers’ lead has been cut to four points on the back of Hibernian’s midweek triumph over Livingston. Can Mark Warburton’s men continue to press on?

And what about at the bottom of the division? Will Alloa halt Hibs’ progress? We preview the quartet of games ahead of us and pick out a bet or two worth investing in.

Alloa Athletic v Hibernian

Two sides in very different form are set to clash at Recreation Park, with Alloa losing their last five games, scoring just one goal in the process.

Alan Stubbs’ Hibs have come out on top in their last eight fixtures in all competitions, with the deadly duo of Jason Cummings and James Keatings leading the way.

While it would be easy to tip up either of the two finding the net, the fact that nine players have contributed towards the Leith outfit’s last 20 goals might put you off somewhat.

But with the visitors leading at half-time in seven of those eight fixtures it could be that basement dwellers Athletic know their fate even after just 45 minutes.

Best Bet: HT/FT – Hibs/Hibs @ 3/4

Dumbarton v Raith Rovers

What it feels like to win might be a fading memory for both Dumbarton and Raith with both sides losing their last three.

The visiting side can probably feel that their form is better than the results suggest with two of those losses coming against Hibs and Falkirk and the other at the hands of a resurgent Livingston.

Nevertheless, finding the back of the net, especially in the first half has been tricky for Ray McKinnon’s men recently.

Rovers have only netted four goals in the opening 45 minutes of their last 15 matches in all competitions.

And with Dumbarton adding five first-half strikes in the same number of fixtures, this could be a slow burner.

Best Bet: HT Correct score – 0-0 @ 2/1

Livingston v Rangers

Having threatened at something of a revival, bagging back-to-back wins it was back to earth with a bang for Livingston with defeat against Morton.

That fall from grace looks set to continue when Rangers, who have only failed to take three points from Hibernian this season come to town.

Don’t expect the Gers to have it all their own way though. For all their dominance in recent times, their record on the road isn’t spotless, with the Glasgow outfit keeping just two clean sheets in six away from Ibrox in the league this term. That record stretches to two in 10 when you head back into last season.

Add in that Livi are the fourth highest scorers in the division, and Wes Fotheringham will surely have something to think about.

Best Bet: Rangers to win and both teams to score @ 7/5

Queen of the South v Falkirk

Like, Hibs, Falkirk are really putting their foot down in the pursuit of Rangers at the top of the table.

The Bairns have hit a purple patch, winning their last four games, scoring 15 times in the process, with striker John Baird taking a leading role with eight goals in that time.

Opponents Queens have been a frustrating side to follow for the Palmerston Park faithful, following two victories with another defeat at the hands of Morton last time out.

While James Fowler’s men could easily pull something out of the bag it is hard not to look in the direction of the high-flying visitors at odds-against.

Best Bet: Falkirk @ 5/4

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.