Ayr United and Dunfermline have formed a splinter group 10 points clear of the pack at the top of Ladbrokes’ League One and the title rivals come face to face in a pivotal clash at Somerset Park next.
Historically the bigger club, it’s no surprise to see the Pars are the current favourites to lift the League One trophy come the end of the season, at 3/10, ahead of the Honest Men at 23/10, despite being locked on 34 points apiece.
Former Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston was under no illusion of his promotion mission statement when he took the Dunfermline reins in May this year, and so far things have been going according to plan.
The former Scotland defender has only tasted defeat twice all season, with the free-scoring Pars forging a vastly superior goal difference over their nearest rivals.
However, the East End Park outfit cannot seem to shake out the thorn in their sides that is Ayr this season, who may trail on goal difference, but have accrued the same amount of points from a game less.
Ian McCall’s charges simply won’t go away and enter the crunch encounter at Somerset Park knowing victory would give them a huge psychological boost, as well as a telling numerical advantage.
Although the Ayrshire club had their FA Cup journey cut short by Dunfermline in a very tight encounter last time out at home, the 2-0 win at East End Park in the league back in September shows how little there is to split the title-chasers this season.
The odds are understandably tight for the contest with Dunfermline given the narrowest of favouritism at 11/10, while the draw is 14/5 and an Ayr victory is a 37/20 chance with the League One sponsors.
While it is only relatively early in the season still, there is no denying this game’s bearing on the destination of the League One crown.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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