Scottish Championship climax: EIGHT teams still with something to play for in crucial weekend

A defining weekend in the cinch Championship could see both promotion and relegation confirmed – or a one-week stay of execution at the top and bottom of the table.

While first meets second on Friday evening in Kilmarnock and Arbroath’s thrilling title climax, last placed Queen of the South host ninth-placed Ayr United in a match that could consign the Dumfries side to the drop on Saturday.

A win over Inverness on Tuesday night left Wullie Gibson’s side six points adrift with six to play for in the two remaining games this season.

Dunfermline and Ayr are just within the Doonhamers’ reach, and goal difference would also become a factor with QOS four goals worse off than both their relegation rivals – who they crucially meet in their two final fixtures. However the six-point deficit equates to Saturday being a must-win for the home team at Palmerston to avoid automatic relegation this week.

Morton cannot be relegated automatically but could still be sucked into the relegation play-off against Queen’s Park or Montrose from League One, though the healthy Greenock goal difference means a point at Cappielow against an ICT side already assured of third-place should be enough to ensure their safety. A home win guarantees their second-tier survival on their own terms .

Eighth-placed Dunfermline are also relegation play-off candidates and are at Partick Thistle who are still not quite guaranteed their own promotion play-off place either, holding a three point lead over Raith Rovers. The Kirkcaldy side are away at Hamilton – the only team whose Championship status is guaranteed next term.

(Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
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