Stirling are the lowest scorers in League Two with 25 goals and have the 2nd lowest-scoring matches in the SPFL with an average of 2.09 goals combined. Their style of keeping it tight and trying to nick a goal is further evidenced by the fact they’ve taken 18 of their 29 points (62%) away from home this season. They’ve only won 3/10 matches at Forthbank and 2 of those were against poor travellers Albion and Annan. A modest transfer window has seen them bring in two loans from Premiership teams, but they’re largely sticking with what they have as they try to claim a play-off spot. I feel this is a somewhat risky strategy as the closing odds rate them about the 7th best side in the league to date.
By contrast their opponents Queens Park are 4th on xPts and almost 4 points shy of expectation. This under-performance prompted a change of manager at the turn of the year and, whilst Ray McKinnon failed to meet targets in his previous roles at Dundee Utd and Falkirk, he is coming into a favourable situation. The Spiders recently chose to sacrifice their amateur status, made £5m from the sale of Hampden and have had an impressive first transfer window as a professional outfit. Craig Slater, Ross MacLean and (a fit) Peter Grant are all capable of playing at least one level above and getting top scorer Salim Kouider-Aïssa locked into a pro contract was huge. They’re unbeaten under McKinnon in the league with 3 wins and a draw and have a decent shot of making the play-offs.
They’re currently a better price than when they visited Stirling earlier in the season and have only been longer away from home against league leaders Cove and their two trips to 2nd place Edinburgh City., so I just can’t have them as 2.94 outsiders (MarathonBet). Better than EVS on the Draw no Bet market is tempting, but this could be a low-scoring affair with the draw a big runner, so I’m opting for the +0.25 Asian line.