Match preview: St Mirren v Dunfermline Athletic

The whole nation will be able to witness two Championship strugglers, Dunfermline Atheltic and St Mirren clash at the Paisley 2021 Stadium on Saturday evening.

It has not gone well for both teams that were meant to be troubling the top end of the table, not the bottom. The Buddies could be 10 points from eighth if they do not get the win and would put them in a desperate situation. For the Pars, a victory would give them the opportunity – if other results go their way – to move towards the mid-table pack.

Since their last meeting a couple of months ago, Athletic have tacked on three points through draws. As for the Saints, they got a draw seven days after the defeat in Fife then Gordon Scott appointed Jack Ross as manager but he has lost his opening four games in charge of the club.

Keys to the game

This match pits the two worst defences against one another. Both sides have conceded 24 goals. St Mirren have not one clean sheet, Dunfermline fair little better with two. With stats like that, it would be little surprise if the scoreline is similar to the 4-3 victory for Athletic last time out.

The weakest area of both starting elevens is the centre of the midfield. Jack Ross has tinkered between a two and a three, and still has not set his preferred formation down. Although, he is happy with Stephen Mallen being a mainstay in that section of the pitch. Allan Johnstone will be deploying a two, ideally for him in the guise of Andy Geggan and John Herron with the absence of Nat Wedderburn. That would be the second time these two play together, the first being against the Paisley outfit.

Learning from the first contest. The home side will be looking to watch for the movement of Nicky Clark in the box and keep him under wraps. As for the away team, they need to stop the sloppy mistakes that have cost them more often than not this season.

Kickoff time, ticket prices and where to watch

Saturday, 17:15, Paisley 2021 Stadium 

Adult – £20
Concession (over 65, under 18, wheelchair user) – £10
Child (Under 12) – £5

Live on BBC Alba, coverage starting at 17:05

Line-ups last time out

Team News

St Mirren:

Andy Webster and Rocco Quinn (match fitness)

Dunfermline Athletic:

Ben Richards-Everton and David Hopkirk (leg)
Andy Geggan, Gavin Reilly and Ryan Williamson (injured)
Euan Spark (match fitness)
Nat Wedderburn (suspended)

Referee

Nick Walsh.

What St Mirren are saying

Post their 2-1 victory over Ayr United: “There’s still a lot of things we need to improve on but I’m really pleased that the players have a reward for their efforts. There was a wobble after we went behind but we made a couple of changes and we carried a bit of fortune with both goals. Hopefully, this is a catalyst for us to start winning games on a regular basis.” (Jack Ross, manager)

What Dunfermline Athletic are saying

“We look a lot stronger, we have just had a bit of confidence breathing through at least the back four. That gives the confidence to the middle four and the front two as well to work as a unit. What has improved the most is that we are all working together. It is not just dribs and drabs”. (Jason Talbot, defender)

Common fixtures

St Mirren:

0-1 v Dumbarton
3-1 v Morton (A)
2-0 v Hibernian (A)
0-2 v Dundee United
1-1 v Dumbarton (A)
1-3 v Queen of the South
1-1 v Ayr United (A)
0-2 v Hibernian
3-1 v Raith Rovers (A)

Points: Two 

Dunfermline Athletic:

4-3 v Dumbarton
2-1 v Morton (A)
2-1 v Hibernian (A)
1-3 v Dundee United
2-2 v Dumbarton (A)
0-1 v Queen of the South
0-0 v Ayr United (A)
1-3 v Hibernian
2-0 v Raith Rovers (A)

Points: Five

Last six meetings

Championship:

24/09/16: Dunfermline Athletic 4-3 St Mirren

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League Cup:

26/08/15: St Mirren 2-1 Dunfermline Athletic

Premiership:

21/04/12: St Mirren 4-4 Dunfermline Athletic
24/03/12: Dunfermline Athletic 1-1 St Mirren
19/11/11: St Mirren 2-1 Dunfermline Athletic
25/07/11: Dunfermline Athletic 0-0 St Mirren

Table

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Prediction

St Mirren 1-2 Dunfermline Athletic

Odds

St Mirren 6/5 Draw 13/5 Dunfermline Athletic 13/5

Best bet

Dunfermline to win @ 13/5

Other fixtures (15:00 KO)

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You can follow @MichaelWood_SJ on Twitter.

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