Both of these sides will be hopeful of pulling off a fantastic result in this one, with the visitors seething after being put to the sword in the first leg by three goals to one, although they will be buoyed by their opponents form in recent weeks. For Queen of the South it is a matter of maintaining their status in Scotland’s second division after a disappointing season which saw them finish ninth on the standings. whereas Raith Rovers are aiming to make a return to the Scottish Championship following an impressive season which saw them come in third place and led to their subsequent beating of Forfar Athletic in this heated battle for promotion and survival.
Fans of Queen of the South will be desperately concerned for their side’s safety in the Scottish Championship ahead of this clash, and rightfully so, with the team on the losing side of a result in five of their last seven outings prior to the two legs against Raith Rovers, failing to keep a clean sheet in four of those matches and scoring in only three. A 5-0 thrashing of Montrose in the second leg of their play-off saw Queen of the South given a huge boost in their bid for survival, with Stephen Dobbie the standout individual on the day bagging a hat-trick to seal the win for his side. However, that display should not be cause for complacency amongst the camp as they were defeated in the reverse fixture just four days previous by two goals to one, and with one victory in the league since March there is no doubting that serious issues are present in the team which must be addressed as they prepare to hold on to their lead against a very capable Raith Rovers.
Raith Rovers maintained their good form of last season during this campaign, although there was one negative point as they finished one position below what they managed in 2017/2018. Third spot was enough to ensure that they would compete in the play-offs and attempt to force their way into the second division, and with no defeats in their previous five outings before the two matches versus Queen of the South, John McGlynn’s men will be ready to pounce on any error made by their opponents. In recent weeks, Raith Rovers have drawn three times and come out on top twice, not keeping even one clean sheet in that time while netting nine goals. In order to reach this point, Raith beat Forfar Athletic, who ended the campaign in second position and three points clear of them, by three goals to two over two legs. Kevin Nisbet showed his quality by getting on the scoresheet twice, once in either affair, and his side will be desperate for more from him in this one, particularly after he got on the scoresheet in the first leg loss.
36-year-old Stephen Dobbie explained that he is prepared to play through the pain of his hamstring injury as he tries to be of help to his team in their fight for safety in the Scottish Championship. New manager Allan Johnston will be over the moon with his striker’s form, bagging forty-three goals thus far and breaking the record for the most goals scored at the club. There are no real injury worries for Queen of the South going into this encounter, and they are expected to line up with their usual 4-4-2 formation.
Raith Rovers captain Kyle Benedictus has branded this meeting his team’s “biggest game of the season” and talked of his desire to find victory from the clash, and the defender will be looking to put in yet another big performance after impressing at home to Forfar Athletic. Raith have switched between 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 over the last few weeks, with the latter showing itself to be successful in the first leg victory against Forfar. In terms of injuries, there is little in the way of bad news, with McGlynn likely to have a full squad at his disposal.
BTTS at 4/6 with SkyBet – In each of the past three encounters between these two sides both teams have scored at least once. Raith Rovers have found the net in all of their last 15 outings, while Queen of the South bagged in every single one of their previous three fixtures.
Over 3.5 goals with SkyBet – Four of Raith Rovers’ last seven games have had over 3.5 goals, and four of Queen of the South’s past five have amassed the same amount. In the first leg, there were four goals scored which sets this one up perfectly to be another high-scoring match-up.