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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Falkirk – 11th August 2012

Victory away to Clyde and Forfar was a positive way to start the new season but there is a sense that tomorrow’s eagerly anticipated fixture with Falkirk, which kick starts the league season, really marks the start of the football season.
It’s certainly an attractive fixture to open the league campaign with. Falkirk finished last season in third position and they are many people’s tips to finish two places above last season’s finish this time out. There have been some changes to the Falkirk squad but even with players like Farid El Alagui and Mark Millar having departed for pastures new there is no discernible weakening of the Falkirk squad overall. When speaking to manager Jackie McNamara was clearly anticipating that Falkirk will again be one of the main challengers this season.

“Falkirk are one of the sides that I expect to see challenging at the top of the table. They finished third last season and they will naturally be keen to finish a couple of places higher this season. They have lost a couple of players from last season, probably most notably Farid El Alagui who will be a big miss, but they’ve also managed to bring in a few players who have already been among the goals this season and will need to be watched very closely. Their younger players are now also a year older and more experienced.”
It’s a difficult fixture but one that the manager is very much looking forward to.
“It’s an exciting game to start the league season with and hopefully there will be a big turn out at Firhill this afternoon. I think that it is important that we try and start the league season well, and with a really positive display.”
On the eve of the game it looks as if Jackie will be without just two players.
“Conrad Balatoni has a one game suspension in the league carried forward from last season and he will miss tomorrow’s game because of that. David Rowson is continuing to be troubled with his back injury and he is again missing. David is speaking to a number of different people to try and get to the root of his problems but we don’t, at this stage, have a timescale for his return. We are keen though to get to the bottom of his problems as quickly as possible. David hasn’t done anything since the Ayr United friendly and if he doesn’t get back soon then he will have to go through almost a mini pre-season when he does return and that obviously isn’t ideal.”
“On a plus note Christie Elliott has recovered from the illness that kept him out of the squad up at Forfar last Saturday and he comes back into contention, as does Paul Paton who is available again following his suspension. “
We’ve done well in the two cup competitions that we’ve played in so far and in terms of team selection for this afternoon I have some hard decisions to make for tomorrow’s game. It’s a good position for a manager to be in. It’s pleasing to look at the squad and see that have competition for places. It’s exactly what we need, we need to have players pushing each other hard for a place in the starting eleven every week.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Season 2012-2013 So Far
W            D             L              F              A
2              0              0              3              0
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Kris Doolan 1
Chris Erskine 1
Steven Lawless 1
Last Game
The Scottish Communities League Cup First Round
Saturday August 4th 2012
Forfar Athletic 0, Partick Thistle 2
Falkirk Stats
Season 2012-2013 So Far
W            D             L              F              A
2              0              0              5              0
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Lyle Taylor 3
Kieran Duffie 1
Stephen Kingsley 1
Last Game
The Scottish Communities League Cup First Round
Saturday August 4th 2012
Falkirk 2, Elgin City 0
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday April 28th 2012
Partick Thistle 1, Falkirk 1
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Bannigan, Robertson, Balatoni, Archibald, Cairney, Halsman (Griffin), McGuigan (Elliott), Welsh, Erskine (Doolan)
Falkirk: McGovern, Bennett, Kingsley, Dods, Wallace, J Fulton, Sibbald, Millar, El Alagui, Alston, Weatherston (Faulds).
Thistle: McGuigan (24)
Falkirk: Alston (71)
Crowd: 2,586

Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday August 11th 2012
Partick Thistle v Falkirk
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Adults: £17
OAP (65+): £12
16-21: £12
Full Time Education: £12
Programme: £2.50
Match Officials
Referee: George Salmond
Assistant Referees: Craig Young and Rodney Marshall
Other First Division Fixtures
Cowdenbeath v Dunfermline Athletic
Morton v Livingston
Raith Rovers v Hamilton Accies
Airdrie United v Dumbarton

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