A round-up of Championship news, latest results, statistics and a look ahead to this week's fixtures
The final weekend of Championship fixtures could see a dramatic finish at the lower end of the division, with 3 teams actively involved in a relegation battle. At the top of the pile, with Hibs already having won the division, and Morton safe in the fourth place promotion play-off place but unable to climb any higher, the only point of interest is who will finish second, and so avoid a play-off quarter final home and away round against Morton. Second place Falkirk have a 1 point advantage over third place Dundee United, with the Bairns visiting Dumbarton, who secured their place in the division with a point at Tannadice last week. United travel to Morton, but with the Greenock side secure in fourth, the home team line up will be much different than the much stronger team they will field in the play-offs. Falkirk's goal difference is 9 better than United's, so even a Falkirk defeat combined with a United draw would still see Falkirk finish second.
The relegation battle is of greater interest, due to the different potential outcomes and with 2 of the 3 teams involved playing each other. Raith Rovers fell to a miserable 5-0 defeat at St Mirren last week, which allowed the Paisley side to leapfrog them into their season-end target of 8th place, and safety. Wee Team manager John Hughes gave what has become a much watched and discussed post-match interview, which depending on your viewpoint displayed the behaviour of either a genius or a madman. The interview can be seen here:
(Video content owned by Raith Rovers; video has been linked from the Rovers YouTube channel, with no infringements).
Hughes has a good home record since taking over at Stark's Park, winning 3 and drawing 2 games, with no defeats. His 7 away games have all been lost, and overall he has a lower points per game average this season with Rovers than his predecessor Gary Locke. To avoid a play-off place, his team must win and hope that Hibs defeat St Mirren. Raith can still be relegated automatically, if their opponents Ayr United win by 5 clear goals against them, to overturn the current goal difference between the teams, and the 3 point gap in the table. A draw for Raith would see them remain ninth regardless of St Mirren's result. Should Raith win and St Mirren draw, Rovers would still stay in the relegation play-off position due to Saints' much better goal difference.
The other game in this weekend's Championship is, of course, Dunfermline's trip to Dumfries. If the Pars avoid defeat, they will finish fifth.
Here is the Championship table:
This weekend's Championship fixtures:
Dumbarton v Falkirk
Hibs v St Mirren
Morton v Dundee United
Queen of the South v Dunfermline
Raith Rovers v Ayr United
Championship top scorers (League games only):
19 - Jason Cummings (Hibs), Stephen Dobbie (Queen of the South)
14 - Nicky Clark (Dunfermline)
13 - Tony Andreu (Dundee United)
11 - Robert Thomson (Dumbarton)
Despite being guaranteed a promotion play-off place, Morton have not won any of their last 8 games, and will go a complete quarter of League matches without a single victory if they do not defeat Dundee United on Saturday.
The most common scoreline in Championship games this season is 1-1. 17% of all fixtures (30 games) have ended a goal apiece. The second most common scoreline is 1-0 (10% of games ending with this result, a total of 17 matches).
39% of Championship games this season have been home wins; 33% of games have been draws; and 28% have been away wins.