Once again the eye on the weather would suggest we should be watching to see if there will be any pitch inspections though with at least 3 games on plastic pitches or with under soil heating we should be OK…
Match of the Day
Brechin City v Dunfermline Athletic
Brechin are coming into the game on the back of a confidence boosting 3-1 win against Ayr down at Somerset whilst Jim Jeffries had to suffer the loss against Airdrie at East End Park. To put not too fine a point on it, Ray McKinnon will have seen Martyn Corrigan’s departure and wondered if it could have been his name in the noose. To keep his head well out of it a win at home to the Pars would be great. For 2nd placed Dunfermline their loss to the bottom club was a surprise but surprises are to be expected at this level. The Hedgemen have no Alan Trouten but do have Ryan Ferguson whilst the Pars welcome Jonathon Page, Kerr Young and Ryan Thomson but are without Callum Morris and Faissal El Bakhtaoui. I expect Jim Jeffries to carry the day and keep the promotion party on track.
Rangers v Arbroath sees some respite for Paul Sheerin as their win last week against Stenhousemuir was a tonic whilst Rangers despatched Forfar with ease last Monday night. Arnold Peralta, Cammy Bell and Ian Black are available for Ally McCoist whilst Nicky Clark, Kyle Hutton, Ross Perry and Chris Hegarty are not. It continues to look a lot like a Rangers win… again… Airdrieonians v Stranraer has a home side boosted by beating 2nd placed Dunfermline last week up against the 3rd placed side. Stranraer had no game as it was postponed and keeping a gap with 4th placed Ayr United will be on their minds. The Diamonds have Michael O’Byrne available though he may be on his way to Stirling Albion, but no Chris O’Neil, Grant Evans, Grant Drummond, Martin Hardie or John Boyle. Stephen Aitken is only missing brother Chris and Marc Corcoran. Airdrie got a decent win last weekend but this weekend I cannot see Stephen Aitken’s side falling at this hurdle.
Stenhousemuir v Ayr United has managerless Stenhousemuir up against a hurting Ayr United. Both lost last weekend and whilst the Stenhousemuir players took to twitter to vent their fury over what happened to their boss they will have to sharpen themselves up for the visit of the Honest Men. Ayr lost to Brechin last weekend in a poor game by their standards. The Warriors have Brown Ferguson in the dugout whilst Kevin McKinlay, Ross McMillan and John Gemmell will not feature. The Honest Men have no Martyn Campbell, Kyle McAusland is back at Rangers whilst Kevin Kyle has signed until the end of the season. I reckon Ayr will find their hosts out of sorts and take the 3 points. Finally East Fife v Forfar Athletic has a home side that was idle last weekend up against a team that was also idle – at least until Monday night when they lost 2-0 at Rangers. Gary Naismith may well hand debuts to Kevin Rutkiewicz, Kevin Smith, on loan Marc Mckenzie from Cowdenbeath and on loan Stephen O’Neil from Aberdeen. He shall be doing without Gary Thom, Nathan Austin and Pat Clarke whilst Forfar are fully fit. I have no idea how this will go but for the sake of interest a home win would be the preferred result.