Potentially the only Fife derby for the Pars in League or Cups this season takes place in Methil this evening
Betfred Cup - Tuesday 18 July - New Bayview, Methil - KO 7.45pm
With Dunfermline being the only Fife club in this season's Championship, today's Betfred Cup game could well be the only Fife derby this season in competitive games. The Pars go into the game topping Group B, following the 6-0 win over Elgin City at the weekend. East Fife lost 1-0 at Peterhead, a disappointment to manager Darren Young, who had emphasised before the game how important it was to get off to a winning start, with games against Dunfermline and Hearts to come. Young, a member of the Jimmy Calderwood era Pars team that reached 2 Scottish Cup finals and a League Cup final, is now in his second managerial role, after previously taking Albion Rovers from League 2 and consolidating their place in League 1. He left Coatbridge to take over East Fife and is one of Scotland's most promising young managers.
East Fife finished last season in fifth place in League 1, missing out on the top 4 promotion play-off place by 4 points. Five players made their debuts in the loss to Peterhead, and manager Young has said that the rebuilding of his squad still has some way to go, and has been hampered already by early season injuries. In addition to the comment in the image above, he also said after the game: “We created a few chances but need to create more from the middle to front. We don’t want make excuses but there are also five first team regulars out, guys who have been there and done it at this level.”
Allan Johnston's Dunfermline got off to a confidence-boosting start to the season on Saturday, overwhelming Elgin City and scoring 6 times. Nicky Clark scored 4 of the team's goals and along with new striking partner Declan McManus, will once again be the main hope for goals in Methil. The Pars squad that defeated Elgin was very light on experienced alternatives to the 11 players who started, with only 3 players over the age of 20 in the squad who were not starters - and 2 of those 3 (Jason Talbot and David Hopkirk) were injured. The addition of new signing Dean Shiels adds quality and experience to the squad. Shiels was playing regularly for FC Edmonton until last week, so is fit, but may start on the bench in Methil.
Expected to miss out: With no updates from the club (at time of writing), it is assumed that David Hopkirk & Jason Talbot are still not ready for selection.
With the players available, here is my preferred starting 11; there is an obvious temptation to select Shiels but Saturday might be a better time to play him from the start, given that he recently travelled from Canada and may not yet even have trained with the new team mates.
Match report/opinion will be posted here around 11pm this evening.
Match photo gallery will be posted on Wednesday around 3pm.