It’s also cup weekend in Scotland and there is an all SPL tie as Inverness host Dunfermilne as both sides look for a welcome distraction from league business.
Terry Butcher’s side have climbed off the bottom of the table in recent weeks with important wins over Aberdeen and St Mirren in December. An excellent performance away to Rangers did not yield any points but it showed that they are still capable of mixing it with the better sides in the league despite a less than inspiring start to their league campaign where they won just one in their opening nine games. Butcher has done enough in his tenure as boss of Caley to earn more time from his employers and it seems as though he’s turning it around. They are five points clear of tomorrow’s opponents who currently prop up the table. Their home form is by no means great as the Christmas Eve victory over Aberdeen was their first success at the Caledonian Stadium since the beginning of October but it is traditionally a hard place to go, especially at this time of year.
Dunfermilne are in dire straits at the moment as they enter 2012. With just one win from their last 17 matches in all competitions, they have been relegated to the foot of the SPL and have the worst defensive record in the division. Monday’s home game against Celtic in the SPL resulted in a 3-0 defeat but the score line barely does the game justice. The difference in quality between the sides is, of course, well documented. However there was a distinct lack of fight and desire on the Pars’ players part. Losing so many games on the bounce can take its toll on any professional so it’s no surprise to see that confidence is low. Thankfully for Dunfermilne and their fans, their away form is a lot better than their home record where they have yet to taste success. They have won three times on their travels this season but their last win came back in November.
It’s unlikely there will be massive changes on either side as both clubs do not have massive squads. Inverness have the added bonus of coming into tomorrow’s game fresher than their opponents as their first game of the New Year scheduled for Monday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Dunfermilne have a good recent record in the Scottish Cup as they reached the final in 2005 and 2007. Their run last season was halted in the fifth round where they lost out narrowly to Aberdeen. As with Bolton in the English equivalent, survival is their main goal but unlike Bolton, they don’t have the benefit of a big squad.
The price is short enough on a home win but having watched these sides in recent weeks I have been far more impressed with Inverness as Dunfermilne looked very poor on Monday – home win.
My Selection: Inverness to beat Dunfermilne
Best odds available: 8/11 available with Ladbrokes
Final Score: 1:1