December 1, 2016, was the date Gary Naysmith was appointed as manager of the Dumfries based club. In the 12 months, the former Scotland international has kept Queens in mid-table stasis. However, to start his second year in charge, the Doonhamers are now positioned on the doorstep of the Premiership playoffs. Due in part to their positive results and the fallow period the Pars are enduring.
Allan Johnston has seen his side win once (Livingston at home) in almost 49 days, picking up seven points since they previously beat Brechin City in mid-September and rank eighth in the form table over the previous eight games. Queen of the South fair six points better; only Livi, St Mirren, and Dundee United have superior results.
With a victory, QoS has the opportunity to enter the top four at this stage of the season for the first time since 2014 where they eventually ended up in fourth.
Athletic will be hoping that they can round out the opening 18 fixtures of the campaign with a clean sweep of victories to keep them in the running for the runner-up spot. Yet, this is no easy beginning to the last three matches before Christmas.
Kickoff time, ticket prices and where to watch
SRJ Windows South Stand: Adults £20, Concessions £14
All other stands: Adults £18, Concessions £12
Away Stands: Adults £18, Concessions £12, U12s £5
Saturday 9 December 15:00pm at East End Park.
Andy Ryan (fitness).
Queen of the South:
Callum Fordyce and Daniel Carmichael (hamstring).
Games reffed involving either side:
Hamilton academical 0-0 (7-6 PEN) Queen of the South (1Y)
What Dunfermline are saying
“This Saturday is a massive chance, obviously Queen of the South are up there as well and they have a lot of quality players, none more so than Stephen Dobbie. I went to see them a couple of weeks ago against Dumbarton and some of his flashes of skill were outstanding. He has a lot of experience and quality and we have to make sure that we snuff him out. We have a lot of good players as well so hopefully we can hurt them going the other way. Hopefully at home we can put in a right good performance, get the crowd right behind us and get the goals that we are all looking for.” (Allan Johnston, manager)
What Queen of the South are saying
We’ve been sitting around the play-off places for much of the season now and as we head towards the end of the calendar year, we want to try to pick up points in every game we play in to keep ourselves in the mix. We go into this game knowing that a win would take us above Dunfermline in the table. There is no bigger incentive for the players.” (Gary Naysmith, manager)
Line ups last time out
Complete fixture list
Former Dunfermline Athletic players
Andy Stirling (2014-15)
Callum Fordyce (2015-17)
Scott Mercer (2012-15)
Shaun Rooney (2015-16)
Former Queen of the South players
Michael Paton (2008)
Nicky Clark (2011-13)
Last five meetings
14/10/17. Queen of the South 0-0 Dunfermline Athletic.
06/05/17. Queen of the South 0-1 Dunfermline Athletic.
07/03/17. Dunfermline Athletic 1-1 Queen of the South.
17/12/16. Queen of the South 2-2 Dunfermline Athletic.
27/08/16. Dunfermline Athletic 0-1 Queen of the South.
Keys to the game
Prepare for the two up top and four at the back:
Athletic have only strayed from starting with one centre forward, and that was last week against Dundee United through extenuating circumstances. QoS have only done so twice, and that was against part-time teams, winning once against Brechin and drawing with Dumbarton.
Do not be surprised if it turns into a goal fest:
While only one of the previous five encounters have exceeded two goals, matches involving Queens on the road have yielded three goals per game, fourth highest in the division. As for the Pars, their seven home fixtures have seen the ball netted 27 times, only matches at St Mirren Park can boast to have seen more (29), albeit in one extra match.
The Pars are a different team at home:
Third best home record, fourth worst away record. Only the Buddies have a bigger drop off in points. The difference appears to be in the number of goals they score at East End Park, 2.57 per match compared to 1.5 outwith Fife.
Dunfermline Athletic 1-0 Queen of the South
Dunfermline Athletic: 1.37
Queen of the South: 2.40
Dunfermline Athletic to win: 1.37
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