Why Livingston win would be huge step towards League 1 title

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Despite the bookies pricing them as second-favourites behind Alloa Athletic before the season, it’s Livingston who are racing ahead in the Ladbrokes League 1 title race.

Win against Airdrieonians on Saturday and they’ll have one hand on the trophy. Lose, and the gap is cut to just four points. So, will Livi make it count in what looks to be the biggest game of the season?

One thing very much in their favour heading into this game is the form of star striker Liam Buchanan, with the 31-year-old having netted an incredible 17 goals in 24 games this season – including eight in his last 10 outings.

So too is the fact that Livi will know plenty about how their opponents will set up and how to contain them. No fewer than four players left the Diamonds to head to the Tony Macaroni Arena during the summer, including the superb centre-back partnership of Alan Lithgow and Sean Crighton.

Their excellent head-to-head record against Airdrieonians also points towards a home victory. The Lions have tasted victory in 11 of their last 12 meetings with the North Lanarkshire club, including a 4-2 win at Excelsior Stadium earlier this season.

There’s no denying Mark Wilson’s side are on the up, of course, but it’s David Hopkin’s Livi who look capable of winning games in every manner.

They tore apart Stenhousemuir in a 4-0 masterclass on Tuesday night, while the Lions’ steelier side was shown in hard-fought, late victories at Albion Rovers and Stranraer.

Meanwhile, the Diamonds are currently on a mini-wobble, losing to Livingston (yes, them again!) in the Scottish Cup, and last weekend they were thumped 5-0 at home by Stenhousemuir – the first time Stenny had scored five or more goals in a league game since April 2008.

That means Livi look good value to win this crunch clash at 4/6, with their visitors 15/4 and 14/5 for the draw.

However, the best value appears to be on Livingston to win and both teams to score at 2/1, with the past two meetings finishing 2-1 and 4-2 in the West Lothian club’s favour.

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

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.