The Ladbrokes Championship serves up three fixtures this Saturday and we’ve sifted through all the statistics to bring you another weekly preview.
Which team will lose their perfect record when Dumbarton take on Queen of the South? And why it could pay to back a snoozefest at Almondvale are just two of the plot lines to follow.
Here’s our take on the action…
Dumbarton v Queen of the South
Queen of the South make the journey north to face a Dumbarton side who are riding high after two highly impressive wins out of two. The Sons were expected to struggle this season after losing manager Ian Murray and a number of their top players in the summer.
But Stevie Aitken has come in after a successful spell at Stranraer and has hit the ground running. In their opening two league matches they have seen off two of the most powerful clubs in the league, in the form of Hibs and St Mirren, with back-to-back 2-1 victories.
Their win last weekend, away in Paisley will be all the sweeter, given it was over their former manager and was their first away win in the league since March.
The visitors are in equally hot form, after picking up a maximum six points and playing some entertaining football.
They have also defied expectation that they may take time to gel, following a big post-season upheaval.
Following their impressive fourth-placed finish last term, James Fowler’s squad was decimated with players moving on to bigger clubs. However, they look to have recruited cannily and their early season form indicates it will be another season to remember for the Doonhamers.
Something has to give with two 100 per cent records on the line and it could well be the away side who will be making the journey home to Dumfries with all three points in the bag.
It’s a favourable looking fixture for them, Queens have won four of the previous five meetings against their opponents. Both sides have been scoring freely and this trend should continue.
Livingston v Falkirk
Defences look destined to come out on top in a match-up that doesn’t inspire confidence that goals and attacking football will come to the fore. There have been a meagre nine goals in the last six editions of this fixture and both sides early season form do not point to either keeper having a busy afternoon.
There was optimism galore at Almondvale, still reveling in the glow of their miracle league escape and cup victory last term, and having their transfer ban lifted. But the pre-season buzz has quickly made way to trepidation.
Livi have failed to find the net in 180 minutes of league action, after losing both openers against Raith and Queens. Liam Buchanan was expected to be their main goalscoring threat after moving from Alloa where he enjoyed a prolific spell last term. He has yet to open his account and has looked out of sorts in front of goal.
The Bairns may have made a very decent start, with four points from six, but have only found the net twice. The impressive Rory Loy left for Dundee in the transfer window and it will be tough for Peter Houston to replace a man who was their top scorer last term.
The first match between them in October last year finished in a stalemate and the threat of another dull 0-0 draw is pretty high.
Best Bet – No Match Goalscorer – 9/1
Raith Rovers v Alloa
Everything points to a home victory in this keenly contested east coast derby.
The home side have won their opening two matches 3-0 in front of their own fans, as new manager Ray McKinnon’s side have enjoyed a positive start to the campaign. They have since gone on to lose twice away from home but a return to the familiar surroundings of Stark’s Park should see them return to form.
It’s been an absolutely miserable start to the campaign for the Wasps. They have been knocked out of both cup competitions to League Two opposition and been hammered 5-1 and 3-1 respectively in their opening league fixtures.
They brought in the experienced Danny Lennon in the hope of improving on their struggles last term, after only avoiding relegation in the end of season play-offs.
Judging by the start to the season they may be in for more of the same. They have not had a Championship win away from home for six months and this doesn’t appear to be the venue for them to start.
Raith are unbeaten in six matches against Alloa, with three wins and three draws. All the victories have been by a single goal and another hard fought triumph could be on the cards.
Best Bet – Raith Rovers to win by 1 goal – 11/4
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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