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SPFL CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW – SATURDAY 18TH OCTOBER 2014

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The international break did not leave many in the Championship idle but it has given the maroon team from Edinburgh the chance to go nine points clear at the top of the table. Rangers’ decision to request the postponement of their tie with Cowdenbeath always seemed a tad churlish considering the squad at Ibrox but now they are looking at a very long coat-tail above them.

Match of the Day

Rangers v Raith Rovers

For me the response from Rangers is going to be key as a story from now until Christmas. Should Ally McCoist’s side gain the type of consistency that the gaffer is searching for then we should see that nine point gap start to disappear. Like any long journey it begins with the very first step and that would include entertaining Rovers today. Grant Murray’s side did not fare too well the last time the sides met and were well beaten 4-0 at home. His options today could include a fit again Dougie Hill whilst Christian Nade has recovered from what looked a very serious ankle knock. Murray will be without Barrie McKay who will not feature against his parent club but Murray believes that he has the squad to tackle this tie positively. For Rangers they have lost Marius Zaliukas for some weeks following further exploration of the knee injury sustained by him against Livingston a few weeks ago. Also out are Bilel Mohsni and Cammy Bell whilst Rangers will welcome back in Kenny Miller. It shows us once again what strength there is at Ibrox in their squad and therefore, for me, I reckon that there is enough for a home win.

Alloa Athletic v Cowdenbeath is the bottom of the league clash that sees two points separating these sides. The Blue Brazil were idle last weekend whilst Alloa lost by a single goal to Hearts. It’s a tricky tie this one but one I reckon may go to the visitors. Heart of Midlothian v Dumbarton has the league leaders welcoming Ian Murray’s side after beating the Wasps away last weekend. The Sons managed a no score draw against Hibs at home and their form is mid table at best. It’s hard to see past Hearts right now but I do think that Ian Murray’s men may prove a stiff test today.

Queen of the South v Falkirk has the home side having beaten Raith Rovers last time out in an epic seven goal battle whilst the Bairns had a weekend free. New boss James fowler is sitting pretty in third and that’s where sixth placed Falkirk feel they ought to be. It’s not likely to be a huge scoring game but I reckon by an odd goal the Bairns shall shade it. Finally Livingston v Hibernian has all the hallmarks of a very decent scrap – well worth the entrance money. The Lions managed to negotiate past Stranraer in the Petrofac Training up last weekend on penalties whilst Hibs were drawing at the Bet Butler Stadium. For me it’s an away win and Alan Stubbs’ men will start to challenge the rest of the league with his charge up it…

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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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