Match preview: Dunfermline Athletic v Raith Rovers

The second Fife derby of the season takes place at East End Park on Saturday and with the disdain between the two sets of fans, there is bound to be fireworks.

In the first outing at Stark’s Park, Raith Rovers bettered Dunfermline Athletic 2-0 with the latter barely troubling injured goalkeeper, Aaron Lennox.

Since that meeting, Gary Locke’s men has dropped from top spot to third, and the Pars have slipped backed to eighth.

Yet, the former Hearts manager will still be pleased that his team is five points better off than it was under the stewardship of Ray McKinnion last year.

For Allan Johnston, it has proved a hard transition from League One to the Championship. As it stands his side is nowhere near achieving his target of finishing fourth.

Keys to the game

Only three teams have conceded fewer goals than the Rovers while nobody has scored more on the road than the Kirkcaldy outfit. Bottom of the table, St Mirren have the second worst home defence (9), the Athletic goal tally sits at 13, which shows where the problem lies.

Dunfermline will need to learn to play compact, and not leave gaps in the midfield like the ones in which Bobby Barr and Mark Stewart benefited from. Stewart is normally stationed off the lone centre forward Declan McManus. Dunfermline will not need to monitor his late runs into the box.

Johnston and his staff will be looking at trying to target the space that Kevin McHattie leaves when he moves down the left flank. They will also look to exploit Iain Davidson and make it uncomfortable for the makeshift right back. The Rovers’ solid spine will be their strength in this game as the Pars have shown a soft center all season.

Kickoff time, ticket prices and where to watch

Saturday 15:00pm, East End Park.
South stand: Adults £19, Concessions £13, U12s £7.
All other stands: Adults £17, Concessions £11, U12s £5.

Confirmed line-ups

Referee

Craig Thomson.

What Dunfermline Athletic are saying

“We got the draw but everybody in that dressing room is disappointed but it is down to us to pick it up and it is only us who can do it.” (Nicky Clark, centre forward)

What Raith Rovers are saying

“In this league, it is so tight and the teams are so even and you are not going to play well all the time, but we are well aware that we have to do better.” (Gary Locke, manager)

Common fixtures

Dunfermline Athletic:

1-3 v Hibernian
2-1 v Falkirk (A)
0-0 v Ayr United (A)
4-3 v St Mirren

2-1 v Morton (A)
0-1 v Queen of the South
4-3 v Dumbarton

Points: Seven

Raith Rovers:

0-0 v Hibernian
2-4 v Falkrik (A)
0-2 v Ayr United (A)
1-1 v St Mirren

1-0 v Morton (A)
1-0 v Queen of the South
3-2 v Dumbarton

Points: 14

Last six meetings

Championship

20/08/2016: Raith Rovers 2-0 Dunfermline Athletic

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Challenge Cup

05/08/2014: Dunfermline Athletic 1-0 Raith Rovers
20/08/2013: Dunfermline Athletic 0-2 Raith Rovers

Division One

16/03/2013: Raith Rovers 1-1 Dunfermline Athletic
02/01/2013: Dunfermline Athletic 1-0 Raith Rovers
17/11/2012: Raith Rovers 1-3 Dunfermline Athletic

Other Fixtures (15:00 KO)

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Table

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Prediction

Dunfermline Athletic 2-2 Raith Rovers

Odds

Dunfermline Athletic 19/10 Draw 13/5 Raith Rovers 13/10

Best bet

Over 3.5 goals @ 33/20


You can follow @MichaelWood_SJ on Twitter.

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