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SPFL Championship Preview – Saturday 24th August 2013

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It’s all about Hamilton Academical at the top as today Alex Neil protects the only 100% record in the league. Falkirk and Queen of the South are sitting just 2 points behind and today’s games will start to set people into patterns that may well allow us to see from where the top 5 and relegation contenders may come. Down at the foot the Blue Brazil sit with nil points though both Dumbarton and Livingston are hardly crawing as they only have 1. This weekend looks like a cracker…

Game of the day – Hamilton Academical v Queen of the South

This is top versus third in a clash that has tight written all over it. The Accies go into the game without both Louis Longridge and Jonny Routledge whilst international clearance will not be through in time for Michael Antoine Currier to feature. The Doonhamers face a team that gubbed Dumbarton 4-l last weekend with late checks due on Michael Paton and Sean Burns but Derek Young is back in contention. Queen of the South drew last weekend with Livingston 3-3 whilst beat Airdrie midweek in the Ramsdens so hopefully won’t be feeling the effects of playing midweek. This is areal contest though I expect home advantage to play a part.

Livingston v Falkirk has an away side that has won twice in the last 7 days. Their league victory – 3-1 – against Raith Rovers was followed up with a 2-1 victory against Ayr United in the Ramsdens after extra time. It is that extra 60 minutes that may be significant as Luke Leahy and Connor McGrandles have knocks from that game. They are expected to shake them off whilst Livingston have 5 first team picks out, Mike Mumpaya is a doubt though Andy Barrowman has joined up. I expect it tough but Livingston to still have 1 point at the end of the day. Raith Rovers v Dundee has the Kirkcaldy side on a roll. They beat Cowdenbeath away last weekend and the Dunfermline Athletic midweek so should be ready for this contest. They do have Greig Spence out which is a real blow as Spence has been on fire. Dundee also won twice during the last 7 days – beating Alloa Athletic in the dying stages of their league game before despatching Forfar Athletic after extra time in the Ramsdens. Their squad has taken some knocks but the big guns of Gavin Rae, Kevin McBride and Peter McDonald available should be fine, That is what I expect may be the difference in an away win.

Dumbarton v Greenock Morton better be good – I am going! The Sons, having been thumped 4-1 last weekend by Falkirk have strengthened by bringing in Hugh Murray and Colin Nish. They are both available for this game. Morton also lost last weekend and they are hurting. Their beginning to the season has stuttered and they will want to make a bold statement today. I fully expect Allan Moore to be the happier at the end of the game. Finally Alloa Athletic v Cowdenbeath has two teams that also lost last weekend. Alloa finally have Darren Young available though Ian Flannigan is out. Paul Hartley certainly believes he needs to be beating Cowdenbeath and Dumbarton for survival as they are all part time teams. Colin Cameron would just take a win off anyone at the moment. With Thomas Flynn back as they decided not to appeal Grant Adam’s red card they also add in Thomas O’Brian and David Cowan. Home advantage may also tell in this one!

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About Author

A lifelong supporter, since seeing Alex Ferguson play for them, of Ayr United he now contributes here, at KickTalk and Ringside Reports for things sporty. He is also a theatrical type and an educationalist. As an Ayr fan he clearly can explain the inexplicable, place fanatical faith in the most fantastic of dreams and deal with dark periods of depression and disappointment. Perfect as a teacher..

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