A depleted Pars squad travels to Grangemouth to take on Falkirk in the Irn Bru Cup. The Pars are without 7 players while Falkirk are near full strength as international week has no relevance to their players.
Irn Bru Challenge Cup - Saturday 7 October 2017 - The Falkirk Stadium - KO 3.00pm
Allan Johnston was given the option of having tomorrow's Irn Bru Cup game against Falkirk postponed as Dunfermline have almost half a team away on international duty. The Pars boss decided to go ahead with the game regardless. Falkirk will be watched by new boss Paul Hartley, appointed earlier this week, although not officially in charge until after this game - clearly to avoid starting off his reign with a heavy defeat.
THE OPPOSITION: FALKIRK
Stand-in Falkirk manager Alex Smith (born 1832) guided his team to their first League win of the season last weekend following the sacking of Peter Houston. Smith, a man with the charisma and personality of a dead sheep, will be back in the dugout tomorrow armed with a tartan rug and a bag of Werthers' Originals, trying to remember his players' names and feeling the cold in his ancient limbs. Falkirk will have gained confidence from their win at Morton last weekend, in the same way as the ugly, plooky laddie at the school disco gets a wee lift from getting a peck on the cheek from his female equivalent, wee fat Doris, the girl with the finest moustache in the fourth year.
Callum Smith has been recalled from Scotland Under 19 duty for this game - having played against France at Livingston, Smith will miss a less-vital close doors friendly to rejoin the Pars squad. Callum Morris, Ryan Williamson, Fraser Aird and Stuart Morrison are still away with their countries this weekend. Michael Paton and Joe Cardle are injured. Jean Yves M'Voto is back in training after injury but this game will probably come too soon for him.
Allan Johnston has used the Irn Bru Cup to experiment with his line-up but options are limited for tomorrow; added to that, this is Falkirk away and not a lower division team at home, and so a stronger line-up with the players who are available, with perhaps some changes, is more likely the way the team will be selected.
Lewis Martin could come in at right back or centre half. I have selected him at right back, with Big Nat moving into defence. Conner Duthie could come in at either fullback position, freeing up either Martin or Jason Talbot to play at centre half beside Lee Ashcroft.
The midfield should be the strongest possible, and so I have gone for just 1 change, Aaron Splaine coming in for Big Nat. Up front, Smith should start, at the expense of Nicky Clark.
Preferred starting 11, based on comments above: