Scottish Championship - Saturday 29/04/17 - KO 3.00pm - East End Park
Odds (McBookie): Dunfermline 6/4; Draw 5/2; Morton 13/8
Tomorrow's game has limited significance for both teams, with Morton already certain of a play-off place, but unlikely to bridge the 5 point gap to second place with 2 games remaining, and so avoid a 3rd v 4th place play-off quarter final meeting with either Falkirk or Dundee United. Dunfermline could have been going into the game with a chance of taking 4th place from Morton, had last week's game against Falkirk resulted in a win.
Our opponents -
Last five outings:
22 April - Championship - Drew 1-1 v Ayr United (H)
15 April - Championship - Lost 2-0 v Raith Rovers (A)
11 April - Championship - Lost 4-1 v St Mirren (H)
8 April - Championship - Drew 1-1 v Hibs (H)
1 April - Championship - Lost 1-0 v Dumbarton (A)
After a run of just 1 defeat in 12 was ended by Dunfermline in February, Morton's form has slumped with no wins in the past 7 games. They are guaranteed a play-off place but their recent form almost certainly means they will face a 2 legged quarter final meeting with whichever team finishes 3rd. Second place would have meant avoiding that extra round of games on the way to a play-off final against the 11th placed Premiership team.
Morton are bottom of the current form table (last 8 games) in the Championship, with just 6 points from a possible 24.
Morton have the second best defensive record in the Championship.
They have conceded just 1 goal in the opening 15 minutes of their 34 League games to date.
In the dugout
A Morton legend as a player, Jim Duffy was a talented central defender who won the Scottish Players' Player of the Year award in 1985 when playing for a Morton team who were relegated from the Premier Division. Injury curtailed his career progress and he entered management with Falkirk at the age of 29. He has since managed Dundee (twice), Hibs, Brechin and Clyde, and was a temporary manager at Norwich, in addition to coaching jobs at Chelsea and Portsmouth.
Pars & Morton facts & stats
Head to head record - last 10 meetings:
Pars wins: 3
Morton wins: 7
Pars Review match reports from the games between the teams this season:
17 September 2016 - Morton 2, Pars 1
10 December 2016 - Pars 2, Morton 1
25 March 2017: Morton 0, Pars 1
Two Morton players have previously played for Dunfermline: Ross Forbes was at East End Park from January 2014 until the end of season 2014/15. He spent the second half of that season on loan at Morton before signing for them in July 2015. Lawrence Shankland scored 7 goals for the Pars in a 14 game loan spell from Aberdeen in 2014.
From the current Pars squad, Paul McMullan was at Morton on loan from Celtic from February to June last year, while David Hutton played 3 games for Morton in season 2012/13.
Here is the current Championship table:
Last five outings:
22 April - Championship - Lost 2-1 v Falkirk (H)
15 April - Championship - Won 2-0 v Dumbarton (A)
11 April - Championship - Lost 1-0 v Dundee United (A)
8 April - Championship - Won 1-0 v Raith (H)
1 April - Championship - Drew 1-1 v Hibs (H)
Safe from relegation and unable to overtake Morton in 4th place, Dunfermline go into tomorrow's game with only the financial incentive of finishing 5th rather than 6th as an achievable goal. It could all have been so different, but a top half finish in the division would still represent a very good first season back in the Championship.
Manager Allan Johnston confirmed there are players struggling with injuries, with Callum Morris definitely out. Sean Murdoch and Andy Geggan are also injury doubts, and whether there are any others remains to be seen. Lewis Martin is suspended, so Callum Fordyce will come back into central defence, with Ryan Williamson at right back if Geggan is missing. Michael Paton scored twice for the Under 20s on Tuesday and I have selected him - this game is a good chance for squad players to get some game time.
Possible starting 11, with squad numbers:
Tomorrow: Game Day image, then later in the evening match report/opinion with photos and Pars player ratings.