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Match Preview - Morton vs Queens Park (17th December)


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Morton vs Queens Park – Match Preview

by Dean McKinnon.

Whilst the Cappielow pitch suffers amidst the sub-zero snap, Dougie Imrie’s side have been anything but frosty on Sinclair Street this season. The Ton have claimed maximum points in five of their eight outings in Inverclyde this season, as they prepare to welcome Championship newcomers Queens Park, the last side to visit the Tail o’ the Bank on league business this season.

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Photo - GBR Photographs.

Squad Update

The Morton manager will surely look towards a more recognised starting XI for this clash, having rotated heavily in last week’s penalty shootout defeat to Raith Rovers in the SPFL Trust Trophy. Darragh O’Connor, Alan Lithgow, Darren Hynes, Carlo Pignatiello, Alex King, Lewis McGregor and Jaze Kabia all found themselves starting against Raith, but it appears unlikely that Imrie will deviate this far from his core squad for tomorrow’s encounter. That been said, promising young star Alex King, following two stunning goals in two sub appearances, may have done enough to stake a claim for a starting berth against the Spiders.

Current Connections

Queens Park was the final club second-in-command Andy Millen played for, in a playing career that saw him turn out for eleven Scottish clubs.

Morton skipper Grant Gillespie and attacker Jai Quitongo both joined Dougie Imrie’s squad from Queens Park in the summer, having spent two seasons each with the Spiders, assisting their ascension to Scotland’s second tier.

Lee Kilday served The Ton with distinction in a five year stint, clinching League One and making a sub appearance in the League Cup Semi Final in 2016, albeit a very brief one. Jason Naismith, and more recently Josh McPake, have both had brief loan spells with the Ton, joining from St Mirren and Rangers respectively.

Tale of the Tape

Morton’s impressive unbeaten run began against Queens Park on 4th October. Following a humiliating 5-1 defeat in the hands of Partick Thistle, Dougie Imrie rejuvenated his side for a midweek trip to Ochilview to face an impressive looking Queens Park. Morton’s forwards combined, as goals from Jaze Kabia and Robbie Muirhead denied Queens Park Championship top-spot and clinched a vital three points for the Greenock side.

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Photo - GBR Photographs.

Opposition Analysis

The Spiders will enter tomorrow’s match every bit as confident as their hosts. In similar fashion to The Ton, the Glasgow side are unbeaten since being hosed 5-0 by Ayr United on 8th October. Their impressive run of form has included a 4-0 win at Firhill, hitting Raith Rovers for five as well as a comfortable 4-0 win against strugglers Hamilton in the last set of Championship fixtures a fortnight ago.  

Ahead of tomorrow’s match, I spoke to Enzo Tamagnini (@SpidersTalkPod), who spoke of his side’s impressive run of form – “The past month or so has been fruitful for Queen's Park. We've moved up to third in the league within two points of leaders Ayr, and progressed in both the Scottish and Challenge Cups. There have been no shortage of goals either. Over the past five games, Dom Thomas has bagged five, Simon Murray four, and Grant Savoury three, with a few others chipping in along the way.

They'll be facing the best defence in the league this week at Cappielow however, who are unlikely to give them as many opportunities as other sides have. The last time we met Morton was bitterly disappointing for Queen's. We'd come off a decent run of three wins, with the Greenock side not yet having started their (ongoing) incredible run of form. There's no question for me that Dougie Imrie got the better of Owen Coyle tactically that evening at Ochilview and the better side won. With how tight this league is, a victory could put either side in a great position moving into the second half of the season.

Although I would be quite happy to take a draw, I believe this team has it in them to sneak a win at what has become a very difficult place to go; I'm not a gambling man, but if I were I wouldn't be touching this game!”

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Photo - GBR Photographs.

Betting Guide

All match odds are provided by McBookie. Odds are correct as of 6pm on 15th December 2022 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling.

The hosts enter this match as favourites, pegged at 21/20 to retain all three points. The draw prices at 11/5, with 12/5 your reward if you back the Spiders to win.

Given the host’s defensive solidity this term, you can back Dougie Imrie’s side to win to nil at 14/5. If you fancy Alex King to follow up last week’s sensational free kick with another goal, you can back him to score anytime at 11/2.

Match Officials

Referee – Greg Aitken

AR1 – Graeme Leslie

AR2 – Ian Hart

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