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Here is McBookie's Damian Walker with his thoughts for this weekend:
Damian writes: “An excellent 8-1 first goal last weekend for Arbroath’s Bobby Linn and the Red Lichties almost hung on for a third-straight League One win but for a 93rd-minute Dumbarton equaliser.
“Anyway on to this week’s selections and in the first column of the season I said Airdrie had probably done the best business in the summer of all the teams in League One.
“And last weekend’s performance went some way to prove it. The Diamonds went down to 10 men away to Stenhousemuir after just 13 minutes with Scott Robertson getting his third red in just over a year. But thew 10 men managed to produce a great performance to win 2-1.
“That was their second win in three league games and given the strength of their squad are definite live contenders for the title yet their odds have only come in a point from 7-1 to 6-1 since the opening day.
“On Saturday the Diamonds entertain pre-season title favourites Raith Rovers and I just have to be with the home side. Raith are 13-10 favourites while Airdrie are 2-1 outsiders and I’d have this the other way around.
“After losing out in a prolonged title race with Ayr United last season, yet finishing 15 points clear of third place, many people thought Raith would run away with the league this time. But eight games in and their only successes have been 2-0 home defeat of Stenny and a 3-1 win over Aberdeen’s colts.
“And included in that run is a home defeat to Cowdenbeath from League Two and a loss to Cove from the Highland League. They might remain unbeaten in the league but I’d argue they have probably played the three worst sides in the division – that defeat of Stenny and draws to East Fife and Stranraer – were against the three sides occupying those bottom three spots.
“I really fancy Airdrie to turn over Raith and as a result of the inflated odds about them there ought to be some decent value in the first-scorer odds for Airdrie. Ryan Conroy has made a terrific start to the season for Stevie Findlay’s side.
“He scored six goals from 29 appearances last campaign but after just eight games this season he already has five to his name and was instrumental in last week’s heroic win, scoring both times. McBookie make him 13-2 to grab the opening goal of the game which looks fair given Airdrie’s title chances and his recent goalscoring form.
“While it was obviously a terrific performance from Airdrie last week you do also have to ask questions about the home side. I said at the start of the season that Stenhousemuir were my fancies to finish bottom and again nothing has really changed since then.
“The vagaries of the play-offs system meant the Warriors finished 22 points behind League two runners-up Peterhead last season but were the side to be promoted alongside champions Montrose.
“Stenny’s squad looks almost identical to last season bar a couple of tweaks, so essentially we have a 54-point League Two side competing in a higher division. We had the same scenario last season in the Championship with Brechin, who were promoted from League One via the play-offs with just 50 points, and look how that turned out – four points from 36 games.
“To be fair to Stenhousemuir, Brechin’s squad actually got worse once they gained promotion but you can see what a struggle it is going to be for Stenny. And results seem to back that up with two victories and six losses this season – plus those wins came against League Two whipping boys Albion Rovers and fellow relegation candidates Brechin.
“On Saturday they travel to face Forfar who have made a decent start to the season and I’d forget about their 1-0 defeat to Livingston’s U20s in midweek as the Loons went down to 10 men after 32 minutes and also played a weakened side. Forfar can be backed at odds against and I’d fancy them to win this game comfortably.
“John Baird has made a great start since joining Forfar in the summer and he has five goals from just seven games. Baird has been plying his trade with various Championship sides in the last few seasons and in a two-year period with Falkirk scored 32 goals in 84 games.
“After spells at ICT and Morton, Baird, now 33, has dropped down a level to League One and it has clearly suited the veteran striker. He is 18-5 with McBookie to continue his good run and score the first goal.
“Moving up into the Championship and Partick Thistle look value at 9-5 to win at Dundee United. After a good start, followed by a poor couple of results against Ayr United, the Jags have again started putting in some decent performances and had Celtic worried for a few minutes last weekend in the League Cup.
“The 17-year-old Aidan Fitzpatrick looked a real handful when coming on in that game and striker Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo scored the goal that so nearly took it to extra time. Since then Alan Archibald has made a great signing in Souleymane Coulibaly but he hasn't yet received international clearance to play the ex-Killie man.
“As for Dundee United the jury is definitely still out in my opinion and they look to be worth taking on. I’m going for a Mutombo first goal at 6-1 with McBookie.
Can you find a winner!”
- Conroy (Airdrie) 13-2
- Baird (Forfar) 18-5
- Mutombo (Partick Thistle) 6-1