A round-up Championship news, latest results, statistics and a look ahead to this week's fixtures
The destination of the Championship title has moved strongly in Hibs' direction over the past few days. On Saturday, Hibs scored an injury time winner against Falkirk, while Morton were losing at home for the first time in 364 days to Dunfermline. Last night, Hibs faced Morton at Easter Road and the game ended goalless, which will suit Hibs far more than their visitors. Morton still have a game in hand over Hibs, and the teams meet each other once more this season at Cappielow in April. The gap is now 10 points, but it could just as easily have been 5, or even 2.
Falkirk have now lost consecutive games to Morton and Hibs, ending a 7 game unbeaten run that had taken them to second place. They are now a point behind Morton and have played a game more, and as it stands would face Dundee United home and away in the promotion play-off quarter finals, for teams that finish 3rd and 4th in the division. The winner of that round then play the division runners up, with the winner of that tie playing the 11th place Premiership team to decide who goes up or who stays down.
Dundee United won the Irn Bru Challenge Cup on Saturday, defeating St Mirren 2-1 with goals from their top scorer Tony Andreu and Thomas Mikkelsen. Both United scorers are on loan, and given the well-documented financial problems at Tannadice, will be likely to return to their parent clubs at the end of this season, especially if United fail to win promotion. United followed up their Cup win with a 2-1 home win over Ayr United in the Championship on Tuesday, their first League victory since early February, a run of 5 games without a win.
The bottom of the division continues to be highly competitive, with St Mirren still last but sitting second in the current form table (past 8 games). Saints have now lost just once in 7 games, and have a crucial home game this weekend against Ayr United, the team directly above them in 9th place. St Mirren also have a game in hand, and should they win it, there would only be 3 points separating the bottom 4 clubs. Sixth place Dunfermline also have a game in hand over the 3 clubs directly below them in 7th, 8th and 9th positions, but are currently just 4 points off the 9th place relegation play-off place, such is the congestion at the lower end of the division.
Here is the Championship table:
This weekend's Championship fixtures:
Dumbarton v Morton
Dunfermline v Hibs
Falkirk v Raith Rovers
Queen of the South v Dundee United
St Mirren v Ayr United
Championship top scorers (League games only):
16 goals - Jason Cummings (Hibs)
13 - Stephen Dobbie (Queen of the South)
12 - Nicky Clark (Dunfermline)
11 - Tony Andreu (Dundee United)
10 - Craig Sibbald (Falkirk)
Odds to win the division (Ladbrokes):
Dundee United 25/1
Of the 4 teams leading the SPFL divisions this season, Hibs have by far the poorest goalscoring record, with 46 League goals. Premiership leaders Celtic have scored 76 League goals; League 1 top side Livingston have 65; while League 2 leaders Forfar have scored 59 times. Even the second placed teams in the other divisions (Aberdeen, Alloa and Arbroath) have scored more than Hibs.
Ayr United have won 3 of their past 5 League games, after going 15 games without a win.
Perhaps surprisingly given their battle against relegation, Dumbarton are the division's third top scoring team, and have scored in every one of their past 9 games.