Let there be football
It's the start of the covid restricted Championship campaign 20/21 and Inverness travel to Fife to take on Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park. The game is a closed doors event and kicks-off at 3:00pm on Saturday 17th October with live streaming available from Dunfermline or the usual social media outlets via twitter, BBC Sport etc to fill the void of following your team at the stadiums. The steak bridies will be a big miss from East End park as will the pre-match entertainment on Halbeath Road and the general enjoyment of slagging your team off on a Saturday afternoon. It's what 3:00pm's were made for.
How to watch the game PPV £12
Our Player of the Year poll will be available to those who have viewed the game on Pars TV or otherwise and can vote once poll is made available after the match. Remember, keep the votes honest as a trophy is awarded at the end of the season to the winner.
The covid restricted Championship will have nine games less this season with twenty-seven games scheduled. That makes it all the more important for teams to get off and running early with 27 points less in the season. Those that make the early running could find themselves battling it out at the top of the table with Hearts the strong favourites for automatic promotion. Dundee will also be amongst those fancying their chances and Dunfermline have invested wisely and will be a tough opening fixture for the Caley Jags. Ayr United have secured the services of our own Tom Walsh and former player Joe Chalmers. Add Dario Zanatta to that and they will be a threat. To be honest, as we found out last season, most teams are capable of pulling off great results on the day and I expect it will be no different this season, although my guess is these teams will be vying for the top four places along with us. Discount the rest at your peril with newly promoted Raith Rovers another that could edge towards the top third of the table.
Our two Group A games in the League Cup have seen a narrow defeat at Tynecastle (1-0) and a goalless draw at home to Cowdenbeath. Our familiar frailties in front of goal are still evident although we did convert all four penalties in the shootout against Cowdenbeath emphatically. Thanks to Cammy Mackay, we picked up the bonus point as he made two tremendous saves to ensure we got two points on the board.
Here's our emphatic penalty shoot-out against Cowdenbeath......
Dunfermline top group E with maximum points from their three games. Six goals without reply is a good return for the Pars who have beaten Dumbarton, Falkirk and Kilmarnock. Captain Euan Murray has scored three so far, all headers.
This is how the table ended 7 months ago...........
Other Championship games this weekend Saturday 3:00pm unless stated
Hearts 6-2 Dundee (Friday 19:45) Ouch!
Ayr Utd v Queen of the South
Morton v Alloa Athletic
Raith R v Arbroath
Inverness have both strikers Miles Storey and Shane Sutherland suffering from hamstring injuries in the opening league cup games, and that leaves us a bit thin up top. Daniel Mackay and the misfiring Nikolay Todorov look the likeliest to be given the task of scoring, something we have failed to do in the last two games. Kevin McHattie and James Vincent played for over an hour against Cowdenbeath in midweek as they build back to full strength after injury with Danny Devine getting a quarter of an hour at the end. Kai Kennedy is still in isolation and his debut is on hold. There has been no sightings of David Carson or Aaron Doran so far. A cardboard cut out is all we have to go on. Sketch by the wonderful local artist Sophie Robb.
Dunfermline made a tremendous signing in Kevin O'Hara from Alloa Athletic. Plenty of experience as well with Paul Watson, Steven Whittaker and Declan McManus signing on at East End Park. O'Hara scored from the spot against Falkirk but it's captain Euan Murray who leads the scoring with three headed goals. He will be a threat at set pieces. Another Murray, Fraser, scored twice against Kilmarnock, one a header the other a screamer of a free kick. Owain Fon Williams is on the books as well. Remember him? Drawing an honest wage now..... Hell mend him.
Here's a damning statistic from the Pars site: Only Morton lost more away games than Inverness in the Championship last season. Sounds like they are fairly confident of keeping our dismal away form from last season running into this one. Let's hope we can redress the balance and get off to a flyer in Fife.
Mon the Caley Jags