SCOTTISH football bible Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) is back with his best bet from north of the border this weekend.
Dumbarton v Falkirk | Saturday 15:00
The Scottish Championship draws to a close on Saturday afternoon; Hibernian, of course, have already been crowned as champions, while Ayr will slip back into League One irrespective of what they do against Raith– unless they win by six goals against John Hughes’ men, of course…
Falkirk, though, have plenty to play for when they travel to take on Dumbarton in their final league match; a win will guarantee the Bairns second place in the Championship.
And that could well prove to be significant in the play-offs, for the team that finishes as runners up skip the “quarter-final” clash in a play-off system that is nearly as convoluted as it sounds.
Dumbarton on the beach?
Peter Houston’s men, then, will surely require no more motivation when they travel to take on a Dumbarton side who will be feeling fairly relaxed, having already assured themselves of a place in the second tier again next season – unless some truly remarkable events occur on Saturday!
The Bairns were beaten in the Promotion/Relegation play-off final by Kilmarnock last season and, this year, they’ll certainly fancy their chances of, at least, getting to within 180 minutes of the top tier again.
Falkirk are in fine form; Houston’s team have been beaten in just two of their last 14 fixtures – and one of those defeats came with the last kick of the ball at Easter Road as Hibs claimed a narrow 2-1 win.
Bairns pack a punch
The Bairns possess plenty of punch in the final third, too; Falkirk have scored twice in each of their last three outings but, disappointingly, have collected just five points from those fixtures, for two of the games ended in 2-2 draws.
Those defensive deficiencies will need to be ironed out, but Steven Aitken’s side are not likely to put Falkirk under too much pressure.
Houston’s side will certainly fancy their chances of getting amongst the goals again in this game, for only Ayr have conceded more goals than Dumbarton in the Championship this season – and it could prove to be another tricky afternoon for the Sons on Saturday.
The Bairns have belief and motivation aplenty ahead of this one and Falkirk may represent decent value at 5/4 (Marathon) to win their final league match of the season to ensure that they remain in a good mood ahead of the play-off battle that lies ahead.
Dumbarton v Falkirk – Falkirk to win (5/4 Marathon)