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Match Preview - Morton vs Partick (2nd September)


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Morton v Partick Thistle – Match Preview

by Russell Gordon

Morton will look to bounce back quickly from a chastening afternoon against their least favourite foes, Arbroath last Saturday as Partick Thistle visit Cappielow Park supported by Dalrada Technology fresh off the back of their first league win of the season.

Dougie Imrie will hope that he can get a similar reaction from his charges as to what he got last season, following a similarly poor performance against this weekend’s visitors that saw Morton go on a ten-match unbeaten run following that difficult afternoon.

Tickets for the match are available at the link below:

Fanbase | Dashboard (fanbaseclub.com)

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Photo - GBR Photographs.

Squad News

Imrie certainly isn’t enjoying a great deal of luck on the injury front, with his squad looking more and more stretched by the week. Whilst Jack Baird returned to the side last Saturday, he certainly didn’t appear to be quite up to speed after his lay off. One suspects that the Jai Quitongo in on a similar boat, having remained on the bench despite Morton’s desire for an equaliser last Saturday in a game that was crying out for a fully fit Quitongo. Another that the game was crying out for was George Oakley, rumoured to be needing an operation and potentially facing a lengthy period on the sidelines, whilst captain Grant Gillespie could also miss out.

With the window for permanent transfers closing on Friday, we could, and hopefully will see recruitments coming in to supplement Imrie’s squad, and whilst the right back position has been one that has proven a weak link since Liam Grimshaw’s departure, Oakley’s absence has all of a sudden shone a light on the need for cover in the forward areas.

Current Connections

Partick captain Brian Graham started his career at Morton, failing to establish himself as a first pick before moving onto Raith Rovers, and enjoying a nomadic career before his Indian summer in Maryhill in which he has become a fans’ favourite with the Firhill faithful, quite the opposite from how he was appreciated by large sections of the Morton support. His manager, Kris Doolan, had the briefest of spells at Cappielow in 2020 under David Hopkin, registering a full 12 minutes in the famous blue and white hoops before COVID curtailed the high point of his playing career.

In the Morton squad, the Robbies - Crawford and Muirhead, and Jai Quitongo all had short spells at Partick, but we don’t hold it against them.

Tale of the Tape

Our friends from Maryhill had the better of the four fixtures last season, enjoying that resounding 5-1 victory over a depleted Morton at Firhill in October, before the ‘Ton clicked into gear and enjoyed that fantastic ten-game unbeaten run, which included a fine 2-1 Cappielow success over the Jags. Anton Dowds cancelled out an Efe Ambrose header that had handed Morton a half time lead, but Cammy Blues got on the end of a fine move to keep the points in Greenock.

Morton’s visit to Glasgow in January was a foul tempered affair, not aided by referee Alan Muir’s horrific performance, as the good guys fell to a late Jack Baird own goal, having battled against the odds to get back into the game after falling behind early in the second half. The less said about that afternoon the better.

Partick’s visit to Cappielow was a far less eventful affair, with the sides drawing a blank, and neither looking like winning the game at any point. It ultimately turned out to be a crucial point for Partick, as it allowed them to sneak into the play-offs at Morton’s expense. At least that ended well, though.

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Photo - GBR Photographs.

Opposition Analysis 

Whilst I pointed out in last week’s preview that Partick had suffered a slow start to the season, a 3-1 victory over Queen’s Park in their derby game at Firhill last Saturday now sees Saturday’s visitors sitting a point ahead of Morton in the league table.

Partick have endured a difficult summer after their play-off failure in Dingwall at the end of last season. Having gambled all on promotion, when the dust settled on Ross County’s dramatic penalty shoot-out success, the bean counters at Firhill were forced to make some very difficult decisions amidst some eye bleeding losses.

Big hitters such as former Morton winger Scott Tiffoney, club captain Ross Docherty and Kevin Holt all moved east to Tayside, whilst midfielder Kyle Turner joined their play-off conquerors, Ross County.

Partick have brought in defender Waisiri Williams from Swansea, Hearts loanee Lewis Neilson, Aberdeen’s Kieran Ngwenya, also on loan, Kilmarnock’s Blair Alston and Kerr McInroy, Ben Williamson on loan from their big pals Rangers and ex-Ayr striker Tomi Adeloye.

They emerged as unconvincing group winners from their Viaplay Cup group, toiling past Peterhead on penalties, before a fine win at Tannadice and seemingly undoing their good work in losing on penalties to League One minnows Falkirk. An improving Dundee United’s 1-0 win in Grangemouth though, put Partick back in the box seat to win their group, and a narrow victory over Spartans saw them through to a visit to Tynecastle, where they took a 4-0 doing from the Jambos.

In the league, their win over Queen’s Park was preceded by an opening day draw with big-spending Raith Rovers, conceding a last-minute equaliser, having led 2-0 with only seven minutes remaining, and a 1-2 defeat by an Airdrie side that are looking very much like this season’s surprise package. I suspect Saturday’s encounter will provide a good barometer for both sides as to where their ambitions will lie for the season ahead.

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Photo - GBR Photographs.

What’s Happening Elsewhere?

There’s another full Saturday card, with no TV game on Friday night. Perhaps the match of the day in the Championship is in deepest, darkest Fife, as third placed Raith host top of the table Queen’s Park. Newly promoted Airdrie have arguably their biggest test of the campaign to date as they visit Tannadice to face title favourites, Dundee United.

Elsewhere, Dunfermline will be hoping to bounce back from their derby defeat last weekend with a trip to bottom of the table Inverness, with Billy Dodds’ side still looking to register their first points of the season.

Dick Campbell’s Arbroath will look to build upon last weekend’s resounding victory at Cappielow against another one of the league’s slow starters, Ayr United, at Gayfield.

Betting Guide 

All odds are supplied by McBookie. All odds correct as of 7am on 1st September 2023 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling. 

Home advantage sees Morton as slight favourites at 29/20, with Partick coming in at 13/8 and the draw at 23/10.

With our favourites leaking goals in recent weeks, a Morton win with both teams to score is 7/2, whilst Robbie Crawford to score the final goal of the game against his former employers is 10/1.

Match Officials 

Referee- Graham Grainger

AR 1-  Alan Mulvanny

AR 2- Chris Newman

 

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