Raith Rovers vs Dundee UnitedScottish Championship, KO: 19:45 Feb 16, 2024, Stark's Park
RAITH ROVERS have allowed Dundee United to move clear at the top of the SPFL Premiership after hitting a slump in form but have the perfect chance to reel in the leaders when the top two face off in a Kirkcaldy six-pointer.
When Ian Murray's men won 1-0 at Tannadice in mid-December it looked like they were going to upset the odds by leaving the pre-season title favourites in their wake. But their form has gone off a cliff since then, with Raith Rovers winning just one of their last eight games.
Last week's Challenge Cup semi-final loss to Airdrie made it five defeats in a row but that horror run hasn't been too damaging to their promotion bid as only three of those losses came in the league.
Dundee United haven't exactly taken full advantage of their rivals' slump either, with points dropped against Queen's Park, Morton and Dunfermline since that loss to Rovers at Tannadice. And that dreary 0-0 stalemate with the Spiders at Hampden made it a frustrating night for our man Mark.
But Jim Goodwin's side dug deep to win 2-1 at Ayr United last weekend and that victory has propelled them four points clear at the top of the table. With the squad he has at his disposal, Goodwin is making heavy weather of securing a return to the top flight at the first time of asking.
Dundee United haven't managed to string three wins together since way back in October but if they can see off their closest challengers at Stark's Park it would give them the platform to race out of sight in the title race.
How the bookies view it
This should be a close one so I'm surprised to see Dundee United as odds-on favourites and their best price is just 17/20 with BetMGM. Raith Rovers look overpriced at 7/2 with Bet365 while the draw pays a tempting 13/5 with SpreadEx.
Recent head to head
This is the third meeting of these sides this season and Raith Rovers have yet to taste defeat. That 1-0 victory at Tannadice followed up a 1-1 draw at Stark's Park in October. Dundee United haven't won on their last three visits and you have to go back to 1996 for their last victory in Kirkcaldy.
Players to watch
Lewis Vaughan finally appears to be over his injury agonies and is benefitting from getting an extended run of games. The Raith Rovers forward has 15 goals for the season and 7/2 with Bet365 for another here.
Tony Watt scored Dundee United's winner off the bench in Ayr and could be handed a start here. The former Celtic kid has five goals in his last six games and is 2/1 at Bet365 for anytime scorer.
Anything else catch the eye?
Despite their slump in form, Raith Rovers have shown they are more than a match for Dundee United this season. With home advantage they look good value at evens with Bet365 in the double chance, especially as United won't be too disappointed with a draw.
I'm expecting it to be a tight game and the half-time draw is always a good option in top-of-the-table clashes. It pays a best 6/5 with Bet365 for this one.
Dundee United are usually great value for corners with double figures landing in eight of their last 10 matches. Bet365 price over 11 corners at 5/4 and that looks worth a punt.
This Scottish Championship match between Raith Rovers and Dundee United will be played on Feb 16, 2024 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Raith Rovers vs Dundee United prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.