Scottish Football: Buddies strive for revenge

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THE encounter between St Mirren and Raith Rovers - the First Division's top two clubs - seems certain to attract the biggest crowd in Scotland today.

With the national side involved in a World Cup qualifier against Portugal at Ibrox on Wednesday, the Premier Division programme has been curtailed to just two games. That means the spotlight falls on Paisley, where the Buddies will be eager for revenge after an opening-day seven-goal defeat by the current leaders, Raith Rovers, in Kirkcaldy.

Jimmy Bone, the former Sheffield United and Norwich City forward who is now St Mirren's manager, has appealed to the people of Paisley to come to the game. 'Surely this is a really attractive one for them. We are putting a lot of hard work into the club and need their backing.' Rovers, meanwhile, expect around 2,000 fans to travel west.

In the Premier Division, newcomers Partick Thistle are aiming to continue their fine run when they travel to meet Airdrie. The home side are without their suspended captain, Jimmy Sandison, in defence while Partick again name an unchanged squad, with the midfielder David Irons fast emerging as an important part of their set-up.

Falkirk, who add another former Sheffield United striker, Richard Cadette, to their squad, are also without a suspended defender, John Hughes, against Dundee, who could include two experienced former Falkirk men: Simon Stainrod, their player- manager, and Jim Duffy - once the manager at Brockville Park.