Arbroath travel to Kirkcaldy to take on Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park this weekend. With the Red Lichties 13 points clear before a ball has been kicked, could League One be wrapped up this weekend?
The runaway visitors
Dick Campbell’s side are league leaders in the third tier. Despite an inconsistent run of form, which has seen them pick up just two wins in their last five, if they can win in Fife at the weekend the title is practically inevitable.
Bobby Linn is the star man, 17 goals in 23 league games for the 33 year-old is a phenomenal return. Having scored Arbroath’s goal the last time they met at Stark’s Park in a 1-1 draw, the onus will be firmly planted on his shoulders.
The chasing hosts
So John McGlynn’s side have to stop them at all costs. Rovers are now looking over their shoulder due to pressure from Forfar, level on points with the Loons. Coincidentally, Raith and Forfar are the only two teams to have beaten Arbroath in the league.
Raith’s form is also far from excellent. One win in their last five is not promotion worthy. However, if they were to lose to Arbroath, they go 16 points behind their opponents. 24 of 36 league games would be played and so two thirds of the league games are gone.
Rovers would need Arbroath to drop points in about half of them if they were to stand a chance. Arbroath would need to lose around six games just to overhaul them and having only lost twice so far, it would be a monumental turnaround. Nigh impossible in fact.
So to some, the title seems an outside shot for Raith. You wouldn’t blame John McGlynn and his side for preparing for the playoffs but if they were to win, 10 points isn’t impossible to catch. Throw in a derby win against Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup and they’ve got it in them to beat anyone.
It’s a real six pointer that Rovers have to win in order to avoid the dreaded playoffs.