WILLIE DUNCAN’S famed weekend NAP from north of the border returns for 2016/17 and he’s heading to Scottish League One on Saturday.
Peterhead v East Fife | Saturday 15.00
It’s not often that you find yourself itching to back a team that has been absolutely annihilated in each of their last two matches – but that’s exactly the position that I find myself in ahead of Saturday’s Scottish League One clash between Peterhead and East Fife at Balmoor.
Jim McInally’s men, who finished third last term, were hammered 4-0 by Alloa Athletic on the opening day of the season and, if the Blue Toon thought that things couldn’t get any worse than that, they were wrong, for they suffered a crushing 5-0 defeat against Rangers at Ibrox in the Scottish League Cup on Tuesday night.
However, I’ll be backing Peterhead to give their hard-pressed fans something to smile about this weekend, by recording a win in their first home match of the League One season when East Fife are the visitors.
Gary Naysmith’s side were elated after being promoted from League Two last term and they made a solid enough start to the season after being held to a 2-2 draw by Albion Rovers at Bayview in last Saturday’s curtain-raiser – although I’m sure that Naysmith will have been a bit disappointed that his side twice squandered the lead against the Wee Rovers.
East Fife will learn a lot this season after stepping up and one lesson is that the trip to Balmoor is amongst the toughest in the division; Peterhead were beaten just three times on home turf in the league last season and they’ve already hinted at another season packed with home comforts after beating both Forfar Athletic and Premiership side Dundee in the League Cup at Balmoor already this term.
Peterhead, too, can call upon the services of one of the most prolific strikers in Scottish football, for Rory McAllister – who scored 22 league goals last term will lead the line yet again on Saturday afternoon.
East Fife beat Peterhead in the League Cup group stages at Bayview earlier this summer and, while that result will give the Fifers reason to be optimistic before making the long journey north, McInally’s men look like a solid selection to reverse that form when these two teams lock horns again on Saturday afternoon.
Home advantage can often prove pivotal in the lower reaches of Scottish football, where cramped coaches are certainly more commonplace than comfortable hotels and backing Peterhead (10/11 Coral) at Balmoor should pay dividends for punters yet again.
Peterhead v East Fife – Peterhead to win (10/11 Coral)
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