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SPFL Championship weekend preview – Saturday 25th January 2014

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As it is sharply cold outside it could be argued that keeping one eye on the weather prior to 3pm on Saturday would be a very good idea. Hopefully we shall not see any form of postponements and will get to see how the Alloa team prepare and respond to Paul Hartley’s resignation. With his open contention that he is NOT off to Hearts we can be assured that such speculation will continue until he ends up there…

Match of the Day

Falkirk v Dundee

This has all the hallmarks of being a cracker as the league leaders get to shake off their postponement last wakened by visiting close neighbours Falkirk. Falkirk are close geographically as well as sitting on the coat tails of Dundee. They dispatched Cowdenbeath last weekend with a 2-0 victory so are in the mood. The Bairns have doubts over David McCracken whilst Dundee welcome Christian Nade, Stephen Hughes and Peter MacDonald into the squad with Nicky Riley, Craig Beattie and Stephen O’Donnell missing. I reckon that it should be a cracker and Grant Holt may have an advantage by being at home and could peg the league leaders back a little today.

Hamilton Academical v Cowdenbeath has the Accies hoping to keep the pressure on the two above them as they had their game last weekend against Dundee was postponed so will need to be on their toes today. The Blue Brazil hit a brick wall last weekend last weekend as they lost 2-0 to Falkirk. The Accies have Jason Scotland Paul George and Jonathon Routledge added to the squad whilst Cowdenbeath have Chris Kane available but no Thomas O’Brien or Marc McKenzie – off on loan to East Fife. I expect the home side to get their title party back on and take all 3 points. Dumbarton v Livingston is Ian Murray’s return to the Bet Butler in a play off spot after they beat Alloa 5-1 last weekend that saw Paul Hartley voluntarily send himself down the job centre. Livingston lost at home to Morton last weekend so both will be looking to get back on the right track today. Paul McGinn and Hugh Murray will be absent for the Sons whilst Callum Thomson, on loan from St Mirren, should feature. Livingston have said their goodbyes to Sheffield bound Stefan Scougall and are without Andy Barrowman whilst Coll Donaldson, Kyle Jacobs and Michael Habai join the squad. I have a feeling it will be the home side celebrating at the end of the day.

Raith Rovers v Alloa Athletic has both sides off the back of losses last weekend as Raith lost to Queen of the South and Alloa lost 5-1 to Dumbarton at home. Grant Murray only has doubts over Kevin Moon as temporary boss Paddy Connolly has Stephen Simmons available but no Kevin Cawley and doubts over Jason Marr and James Creaney. I reckon Grant Murray’s side will be too much for Alloa and Paddy Connolly today. Connolly does not want the job permanently and the best thing to happen to the Wasps in my opinion is getting someone in quick. Finally Greenock Morton v Queen of the South has 2 teams that won last weekend but are still down the wrong end of the table. They were both single goal victories as Queen of the South beat Raith and Morton did for Livingston. Kenny Shiels has continued his radical transformation with Jonathon Page, Michael Habai and Thomas Pecier all leaving the club and Jack Smith with on loan Celtic kid Stuart Findlay joining. Findlay though joins David O’Brien in being unavailable today. The Doonhamers have no Andy Dowie or Derek Young but do have Bob McHugh available. If a run is possible for Morton then winning today would be part of the most likely and I reckon Shiels, having won a game may get the momentum going and we could see their 2nd win in a row today.

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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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