Falkirk

v

Raith Rovers

Saturday 19th April 2014

Falkirk Stadium

Kick off: 3.00pm

Match Preview:

For the third game in succession, Raith Rovers take on a side with its eyes on promotion, as Grant Murray and his team, travel to the Falkirk Stadium this Saturday.

Gary Holt’s Falkirk may be 4 points behind leaders Dundee with 3 games to go, but after winning their last 4 matches, scoring 10 and conceding just 1 in the process, they’ve dragged themselves back into the title equation.

No team in the Championship has a better home record than Falkirk, and with just 11 goals conceded in 16 home games, Rovers have a tough challenge in building on Tuesday’s excellent 3-2 victory over Queen of the South.

While Falkirk haven’t tasted defeat at home in the league since losing to Dumbarton in October, Raith have a good record at the venue, with 2 wins and a draw from their last 5 visits. The overall recent league record between the two is absolutely neck-and-neck, with 3 wins apiece, and although Raith haven’t beaten Falkirk in the league this season, they did eliminate the Bairns from the Ramsdens Cup at the beginning of September.

Depending on results elsewhere, a win for either side could lift them up the table. A Raith victory could see them leapfrog Livingston into sixth, while Falkirk are hoping to close the gap to Dundee, while simultaneously replacing Hamilton in second place.

Saturday’s match referee will be Euan Anderson.

What The Manager Said:

After the disappointment of last Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Dumbarton, Grant Murray was delighted at Tuesday night’s return to form against Queen of the South,

“I thought we bounced back well from Saturday. We knew the Dumbarton match was going to be difficult because of the circumstances, albeit we went into it with every intention of winning. Then losing the first goal made matters even more difficult. I thought Tuseday was a really good performance though, although obviously we were disappointed to be pegged back before half-time.”

“We made a really good start to the match, and I felt it was similar to how we were playing at the start of the season, in that we put the opposition on the back foot right away. I thought we got the ball down, and hurt them in the areas where we could, playing it down the sides where we seemed to cause them a fair amount of trouble, and I thought in those first twenty-five minutes we could have had three or four goals.”

“That’s the third time we’ve beaten Queen of the South this season, a club that’s sitting in fourth spot, so the players should be taking a lot of confidence from that.”

While Grant Murray’s focus remains firmly on the rest of the season, starting with Saturday’s game against Falkirk, he admitted that Tuesday night’s win, allows him to start making tentative plans for next season,

“Mathematically of course, we aren’t officially safe, and for us, the main aim is to win our last three games, and finish as high up the league as we can. We were always confident that we would climb the table, that’s us above Alloa, and now we want to get above Livingston, which we can do this Saturday, albeit we have a very difficult game, and we need to hope Livingston drop points. However, Tuesday’s result gives me the opportunity to start speaking to players, and planning for next season, which will happen in due course.”

“It’s always difficult playing against Falkirk, as they’re a good side. They’ll still think they’ve got a chance of pushing for the title, depending on what happens elsewhere. It’ll be a similar match to Tuesday’s, in that we’re playing a team that’s looking to get promoted, and while it’ll be a difficult game, it’ll also be a good one.”

Head-to-Head League Record at Falkirk:

Falkirk wins: 41 | Raith Rovers wins: 17 | Draws: 14

Falkirk goals: 136 | Raith Rovers goals: 83

Top Goalscorers in All Competitions:

Falkirk: Rory Loy 20 | Mark Millar 6 | Philip Roberts 6

Raith Rovers: Greig Spence 10 | Calum Elliot 10 | John Baird 8 | Joe Cardle 8

Match Odds:

Falkirk: 4/7 | Raith Rovers: 4/1 | Draw: 10/3

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