Scottish Championship: The league with half its teams in a relegation fight

Scottish Championship bottom

With three weekends of fixtures left to play, half of the teams in the Scottish Championship are in a relegation fight.

Alloa Athletic, the division's only part-time side, hauled themselves up to sixth place on Saturday with a fourth consecutive victory but are still only four points off the bottom.

Indeed, the scrap is so mind bending that, although Partick Thistle held league leaders Ross County in Dingwall and edged a point closer to the safety of eighth place, they also went bottom because of Falkirk's win away to Dunfermline Athletic.

So which of the five sides will go down to League One? Which will face the relegation play-offs? And which three will survive? BBC Scotland looks at the prospects for what promises to be a nervy run-in.

Alloa fixtures
Alloa fixtures

It looked ominous for the Championship's only part-time team after a run of eight defeats in nine games left them three points adrift at the bottom at the end of March. However, four consecutive victories, culminating in Saturday's triumph over Queen of the South, means Jim Goodwin's side are now able to breathe ever so slightly more easily.

MOrton
Morton fixtures

When Greenock Morton beat Ross County in their opening fixture of 2019, all seemed well at Cappielow. Jonatan Johansson had been in charge for four months and his side were now in fourth place - and maybe even dreaming of a tilt at promotion to the top flight. But the former Finland international's side have since lost their way. A 15 point-gap between them and bottom spot has been cut to three points after a run of one win in their subsequent 13 games, although they did edge a point closer to safety with a midweek draw at home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Queen of the South fixtures
Queen of the South fixtures

Queens are another side to have suffered a slump since January - and another to do so after beating champions-elect County. A 4-0 win over the league leaders took the Dumfries side into fourth, but Gary Naysmith's men have since only won one of 13 league games. At the same time, the goals have dried up for the Championship's top scorer Stephen Dobbie, who has only two in his past nine appearances having netted 19 in his previous 20 matches. Worse still, he looks like missing the rest of the season. One thing in Queens' favour is that they have a significantly better goal difference than the rest.

Falkirk fixtures
Falkirk fixtures

Manager Ray McKinnon left Morton for Falkirk on the final day of the August transfer window, sparking a prolonged dispute between the clubs. It looked like it would pay off for Falkirk, though, when they went eight games without defeat and lifted themselves off the bottom of the table after making a plethora of new signings in January. A run of five matches without a win returned them to 10th place, but Saturday's derby win at Dunfermline has nudged them up a place on goal difference.

Partick Thistle fixtures
Partick Thistle fixtures

Thistle looked to be on track to save themselves as five successive wins amid a run of seven games undefeated took Gary Caldwell's side out of the bottom two in mid-February. But, after two wins in their next eight fixtures, they find themselves bottom. However, they do have what could be a crucial game in hand over the four sides above them.

'It'll go to the last game' - analysis

Dunfermline Athletic midfielder James Craigen will face two of the five sides, after losing against Falkirk on Saturday

Alloa are on this fantastic run now. They are still in the mix, but they've given themselves a great chance. Brechin struggled as a part-time team last season, but Alloa have been the surprise package and have given us tough games, are a credit to the league and play some really good stuff as well. Falkirk and Partick Thistle made changes in January and have picked up form, but they are also still in the mix. With the teams all playing against each other, I think it will go to the last game of the season.

Ayr United v Ross County will be live on BBC Scotland and BBC Sport online on Friday 19 April (Kick-off, 19:05 BST).

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