Partick Thistle vs Ayr UnitedScottish Championship, KO: 19:45 May 19, 2023, Firhill
PARTICK THISTLE flew out of the play-off traps by crushing Queen's Park and will be hoping that momentum can now take them past Ayr United to line up a final crack at the Premiership.
It was an emotional night for manager Kris Doolan after the death of his father and the former Jags striker has done an incredible job at Firhill since taking the reins from Ian McCall.
Doolan has lost just one of his 15 matches in charge and that form suggests Partick Thistle stand a chance of becoming the first team to secure promotion with three play-off victories.
But that demanding run of games is the reason why nobody has done it before and the Ayr United players have been able to recharge their batteries with a fortnight off.
Lee Bullen's side went into the final round of Championship fixtures unsure they would even make the play-offs but a 2-1 victory at Inverness fired them up to second in the table behind champions Dundee.
That made it five games unbeaten in an impressive end to the season so the Honest Men will fancy their chances of edging out the Jags over two legs.
How the bookies view it
This is a hard one to call but Coral make Partick Thistle 19/20 favourites for a first leg win at home, with Ayr 3/1 at Bet365 and the draw paying 11/4 with McBookie. To reach the final, the Jags are just 7/10 at Bet365 while Ayr are 11/10 with 888Sport.
Recent head to head
Partick Thistle have just edged it in clashes with Ayr this term, winning two of the four meetings and losing just once. The last game was at Firhill a month ago and it ended in a 1-1 draw. The Jags are unbeaten in four at home against the Honest Men since losing 3-2 in 2019.
Players to watch
Midfielder Scott Tiffoney netted last time out at Ochilview after I flagged the midfielder up for a goal. But it was striker Brian Graham who broke the deadlock that night with a stunning volley and the veteran now has 18 for the season. He's 7/4 with William Hill to add to that tally, which looks a bit overpriced.
Ayr's place in the play-offs is largely down to the goals of Dipo Akinyemi, who has just been named PFA Player of the Year for the Championship. The powerful centre forward has 24 for the season and is 2/1 with William Hill for another strike at Firhill.
Anything else catch the eye?
We should see goals in this one, with BTTS landing in three of the four meetings so far this season. That bet pays just 4/6 with most firms tonight while over 2.5 goals isn't much better at 4/5 with William Hill. But over 1.5 first-half strikes is better at 17/10 with Coral and that landed for me in Partick Thistle's last game.
There isn't much between these teams and I'd expect the tie to still be alive heading into the second leg. The half-time draw pays 13/10 at Bet365 while McBookie price a one-goal winning margin for either side at 7/5.
This Scottish Championship match between Partick Thistle and Ayr United will be played on May 19, 2023 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Partick Thistle vs Ayr United prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.