Dundee

V

Raith Rovers

Saturday 9th November 2013

Dens Park, Dundee

Kick off: 3.00pm

Admission Prices:

Adults – £20

Concessions* – £10

Concessions are under 16s, over 65s, full time students and disabled.

Match Preview:

Raith Rovers head to Dundee on Saturday for one of their stiffest tests of the season, as they attempt to bring back three points from Dens Park for the first time since 1995.

Both sides go into the game in good form, with Raith unbeaten in ten league matches, while Dundee have won four of their last five, only losing narrowly to Livingston last time out. The Dee look especially dangerous at home, with a record of four wins and a draw from their five matches. Raith however, are unbeaten away from home, with three wins and two draws so far this season.

While the game can’t promise goals, Saturday’s match-up is a meeting between the two top scorers in the Championship. Dundee currently lead the way with twenty goals scored in eleven games, but Raith are just one behind on nineteen. On the other hand, both the sides tend to keep it tight at the back, with each of them conceding just twelve goals this season, a figure that is only bettered by Hamilton.

It will be the first of two games between the sides this month, as Sir Alex Ferguson helped to bring the clubs together again at the end of November, when he picked out the fixture during the Fourth Round draw of the Scottish Cup. Interestingly, Rovers have an impressive record at Dens Park in the competition, with three wins and a draw at the venue, the most recent victory coming in 2010, during Raith’s run to the semi-final.

The last ten league meetings between the sides have been dominated by Dundee who have won six of the encounters. Raith have come out on top just once, with the other three ending all-square.

Saturday’s match referee will be Andrew Dallas.

What The Manager Said:

Raith Rovers advanced into the Fourth Round of the Scottish Cup last weekend at the expense of their hosts East Stirling. Despite a few scares, especially in the first half. Despite this,  Grant Murray explained he was pleased with what he saw,

“I was pretty happy with the whole game, but the main thing was getting into the next round. East Stirling had the exact same idea though and they gave us a tough opening forty-five minutes. The first goal was always going to be key, and once we got it, I felt we were in control, and I thought it was a reasonably comfortable win in the end.”

Callum Booth was played in a more advanced left-midfield role after an injury to Joe Cardle, but despite his unfamiliarity in the position for Raith, the Hibs loanee thrived in the position, setting up both goals,

“We always knew that Callum could play in that area, as we’ve seen him play there for other clubs. He’s a forward thinking player who normally does it from a deeper area of the park, so we didn’t have any worries about asking him to move forward. Kevin McCann slotted in at left-back too and did well, so it worked out fine for us.”

Raith went a goal up thanks to Gordon Smith, a front man who is enjoying a rich vein of form, with Sunday’s strike moving his tally up to four for the season,

“Gordon was in the team, and then had a wee spell out of it, which was probably frustrating for him, but Calum Elliot and Greig Spence were doing well for us. We decided to freshen things up though, and Gordon came on against Hamilton and won the penalty. Then he came on against Morton and scored the winner, so suddenly he’s on a bit of a high, so we threw him in the next week, and he’s rewarded us with three goals in three games.”

Raith were paired with Dundee in the next round of the cup, and while the fixture is obviously tricky, the Raith management team have great memories of their last tie there, especially Laurie Ellis, who put the Stark’s Park club two-nil up on the day,

“We’d have loved to have been at home in the next round but it wasn’t to be. We know it’ll be a difficult tie, and we’ll get a wee taste for it, going up there this weekend. Myself and Laurie Ellis were involved in the previous cup tie there a couple of years ago, so we know how big a game it’ll be. I’m sure it’ll be a good game and a cracking atmosphere.”

Before the cup game however, there’s some league business to take care of at Dens Park, a game that Murray realises will be a huge examination of his side,

“It’s a massive test for us. Dundee are a huge club who came down from the top tier last season, and they’ve got a great squad of players up there. They’ve started the season well, and are in a good position, just behind us in third.”

“It’ll be difficult for us going up there, it’s a great stadium and it’ll be a big crowd, but there wasn’t much in it when we played each other earlier in the season. Both of us have picked up a lot of points since then, and we’re looking forward to it, but it’ll certainly be tough.”

Overall Head-to-Head League Record at Dundee:

Dundee Wins: 32 | Draws: 14 | Raith Rovers wins: 9

Dundee Goals: 109 | Raith Rovers Goals: 64

Top Goalscorers in All Competitions:

Dundee: Peter MacDonald 12 | Craig Beattie 3 | Ryan Conroy 3

Raith Rovers: Greig Spence 7 | Calum Elliot 7 | Joe Cardle 5

Match Odds:

Dundee: Evens | Draw: 12/5 | Raith Rovers 2/1

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