Friday night’s cagey clash between Dundee United and Hibernian was viewed by many as the barometer of which of the pair could go on to win the Ladbrokes Championship title. But there could be a third outcome in the tussle, with Falkirk in fine form.
Peter Houston’s side are unbeaten in the past four games, with back-to-back victories against Ayr United and St Mirren in their last two. And that run has been underpinned by a strong defensive record.
The Bairns’ boss has blooded a youthful and energetic backline, with Canadian centre-half Luca Gasparotto and creative left-back Luke Leahy playing every minute of the club’s Ladbrokes Championship campaign so far.
On the other flank, 21-year-old Lewis Kidd – signed from league rivals Queen of the South during the summer – has shown his talent since arriving at Falkirk.
Houston’s charges have conceded just nine times in their last 12 Ladbrokes Championship games, with second-placed Dundee United shipping double figures in the same time. And that’s not the only thing they have on the Tangerines.
Falkirk have already defeated aside the much-fancied Tayside outfit by a 3-1 margin back in September, while they took a point from Easter Road last month despite having 10 men for over an hour.
Clearly equipped to cope with title favourites Hibs (8/15) and 6/4 shots Dundee United, it’s quite a surprise to see Falkirk out at 22/1 for a title, especially as they pipped the Cabbage to second spot in last season’s Ladbrokes Championship.
Currently just six points off the top two – and in fine form – the Bairns boast one of the division’s most talented forwards in John Baird, with the Glaswegian hitman netting 19 times last season.
And with the service offered by the likes of Tom Taiwo, John Rankin and Myles Hippolyte in midfield areas, it’s surely only a matter of time before he significantly boosts his four league goals in this campaign.
That’s before we even touch on the gaffer…
Peter Houston won promotion to the top-flight twice with Falkirk as a player, but his finest achievement came in the dugout, leading Dundee United to their first silverware in 16 years with the 2010 Scottish Cup.
With a fantastic track record of bringing through young players, it’s no surprise to see his solid and energetic Bairns side beginning to click.
Dundee United and Hibs dropping points in recent weeks only strengthens the argument that Falkirk should be backed for the Ladbrokes Championship title at the sizeable price of 22/1.
Meanwhile, the Bairns are 4/7 to win their next encounter as they welcome a Queen of the South side who have lost their last six league games.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing