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Ladbrokes SPFL: East Stirling to struggle in club’s biggest ever game

| 13.05.2016

It’s all-or-nothing in the second legs of the Ladbrokes SPFL play-offs, and there’s everything still to play for.

Ayr United grabbed a 95th-minute leveller to draw 1-1 at Stranraer, but will they overcome the Blues at Somerset Park to reach the Ladbrokes Championship? Meanwhile, it’s advantage Queen’s Park, following their 3-1 win at Clyde.

Elsewhere, it was honours even in the capital as East Stirlingshire visited Edinburgh. Can Shire avoid the drop, or will we be welcoming a new name into the Ladbrokes SPFL next season?

Here’s what to expect from these crucial second legs.

Ayr United v Stranraer (Ladbrokes Championship Play-offs semi-final second leg, Sunday 14:45)

The Honest Men comfortably dispatched Peterhead in the quarter-finals but found Stranraer a tougher test in midweek, with the visitors needing Ross Docherty’s first career goal to rescue a draw in the 95th minute.

However, The Blues may be cheered by Ayr’s recent struggles at home. Ian McCall’s men have lost three of their last five home games and haven’t kept a clean sheet at Somerset Park since the end of November.

Stranraer have been on fire up front with 18 goals in their last seven games, and they’re likely to prove too hot to handle again, with a 3/1 victory for the Blues looking like sensational value. Ayr, meanwhile, are 7/10 to win.

However, those looking for a realistic long-odds bet could do worse than backing high-scoring Stranraer to win by a three-goal margin at 40/1. After all, they’ve already done so twice in the past month.

Score Prediction: Ayr United 1-2 Stranraer (12/1)

Queen’s Park v Clyde (Ladbrokes League 1 Play-offs semi-final second leg, Today 15:00)

The signs are looking good for Queen’s Park to return to the third tier of Scottish football for the first time in seven years.

Not only did they beat Clyde 3-1 in Cumbernauld, but history is also on the Spiders’ side. Of the seven meetings preceding the first leg, the Glaswegians had won five, with two draws and a solitary victory for the Bully Wee.

Queen’s boasted Ladbrokes League 2’s tightest defence during the regular season, and having conceded just twice in their three play-off games so far, Clyde’s chance appears to have gone.

Therefore, the logical bet is on another Queen’s Park victory at 23/20, with Barry Ferguson’s men 37/20 for a win on the night.

With the Spiders having already notched up 16 clean sheets in all competitions, there also could also be plenty of value in the home side to win to nil.

Score Prediction: Queen’s Park 2-0 Clyde (10/1)

East Stirlingshire v Edinburgh City (Ladbrokes League 2 Play-offs semi-final second leg, Today 15:00)

Shire face the most crucial game of their 135-year history this afternoon, with Craig Tully’s charges looking to retain their Ladbrokes SPFL status after over a century in the leagues.

Their opponents, Edinburgh City, are looking to reach League 2 for the first time in their history and the capital club look good for victory at 27/20.

City have won their last six away games while Shire (29/20) having taken a single point from nine matches on their own patch.

Shire have actually shipped three or more goals in seven of their last nine home games, so the smartest bet could be on a 3-1 win for the visitors at 14/1.

Score Prediction: East Stirling 1-3 Edinburgh City (14/1)

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.