THE PARS need to bounce back from their defeat in the Highlands last week in order to maintain their place in the upper echelons of the Championship.

A trip to Falkirk awaits and with the Bairns struggling, it would appear that this is a decent opportunity to secure a victory.

The bookmakers are less convinced: Falkirk are 7/5 (Stan James/Betvictor), a draw 12/5 and Dunfermline 11/5 (Bet365). The numbers do not add up. Falkirk are second from bottom with one win all season and have netted a paltry eight goals in their 11 matches. The Pars lie third having amassed 20 points notching a league-high 25 times in the process.

Unless there is an unknown trap the conclusion is inescapable; away win.

Prediction: Falkirk 0 Dunfermline 1.

Celtic play at St Johnstone in the one live fixture over the weekend (Sky Sports, Saturday, 12.30pm). The Bhoys are 1/4 to come away from Perth with the three points, a draw is 5/1 and the Saints 14/1.

Rangers host Partick in a Saturday 3pm game, the Gers being 2/5 to collect the win, a draw 4/1 and the Jags 9/1.

The Rugby League World Cup continues in Australasia over the weekend and Scotland begin the Home Nations’ involvement by playing New Zealand in Christchurch (EIR Sport, Saturday, 4am). The Scots are in a group where the top three of the four teams qualify for the quarter-finals but it is likely to rest on the last match between them and Samoa as to which country misses the cut. Scotland are 50/1 to beat the Kiwis but, more realistically, you can back them to defy a +48 handicap at even money with Hills. Those expecting a landslide can take -46 New Zealand at evens with Paddy Power.

It is not often England play Lebanon on the sporting stage but the Cedars are an improving country in the sport and will not be felled easily. The contest takes place on Saturday at 9am (BBC2) with England 1/33 to win the game and 20/21 off a -30 handicap (Bet365). Lebanon are +34 at 10/11 with Skybet.

The only country that has rugby league as its national sport are Papua New Guinea and the Kumuls entertain Ireland on Sunday (EIR Sport, 6am). PNG are 1/6 (Betway), the Irish 15/2 (Stan James) and a draw 40/1. Handicap-wise, Papua New Guinea are -18 at 11/10 (Hills) while Stan James lay Ireland at +22 (10/11).

Another Pacific Island/Home Nation mis-match is expected to occur two hours later when Fiji play Wales (EIR Sport, 8am). The Bati are 1/200 to beat the Welsh and 10/11 with a -42 handicap with Stan James. Wales are 50/1 and 7/8 off +48 with Unibet.