THE PARS have altered their managerial set-up to try to get back into Championship play-off contention but layers Betvictor believe they have some catching up to do.

The Gibraltar-based firm have priced up a ‘Top Four Finish’ market and their odds are as follows: Inverness CT 4/6, Queen of the South 5/2, Dunfermline 4/1, Morton 10/1, Falkirk 66/1 and both Alloa and Partick 100/1.

The assumption is that Ross County, Ayr and Dundee United have nailed down three places but it is a view that can be challenged; none of the three are bombproof and the Honest Men with one win in eight look particularly vulnerable. Therefore, it is feasible that more than one of the clubs listed finish in the top four, in which case a 5/2 shot or bigger will reward the punter.

Inverness, with only seven wins all season, look exceptionally short at 4/6 and Falkirk and Partick are too far behind to have any realistic chance. The other four clubs, however, are worth a structured interest so that the punter profits if any one of them makes the top four and achieves a bonus if two (or more) do. An example could be £20 on Queen of the South, £15 on the Pars, £6 on Morton and £1 on Alloa.

The Scottish Cup is the feature of this weekend’s action but somehow the Fife derby has missed the attention of the broadcasters. Nevertheless, Raith versus Dunfermline at Stark’s Park is an intriguing match that might be many people’s idea of an upset. The Pars are 6/5 (Skybet), Rovers 5/2 and it is 11/4 (Bet365) that a replay will be required. Raith are second in League 1 but are miles behind leaders Arbroath and are pretty much booked for a play-off place. The suspicion is that the gap between the two clubs is greater than the league positions imply and if the Pars apply themselves properly, they can squeeze through this tie at the first attempt.

Prediction: Raith 0 Dunfermline 1.

The archetypal David versus Goliath clash kicks it all off tomorrow (Friday) night. Cowdenbeath host Rangers at Central Park (Premier Sports, 7.45pm) and are 25/1 (Coral) to create the mother of all upsets. The Gers are 1/9 (Ladbrokes) and the draw 19/2 (Betfair Sportsbook).

Old Firm rivals Celtic also feature on Premier Sports when they take on mid-table League One outfit Airdrieonians at Parkhead on Saturday (5.15pm). Their odds are much the same too; the Bhoys are 1/9 (Boylesports), a draw 9/1 and the Diamonds 22/1 (Boylesports).

BBC Scotland are also televising two matches, beginning with Auchinleck Talbot’s mouthwatering clash with Championship promotion hopefuls Ayr United at Saturday lunchtime (12.15pm). Once more, the match has been priced up as a one-sided affair: the Honest Men are 2/11, a draw 13/2 and Talbot 14/1 (Bet365).

The Sunday afternoon (2.30pm) game is one more for the purist than the romantic as Hearts host Livingston in an all-Premier league encounter. The Jambos are 9/10 (Betvictor), a draw 5/2 and Livi 10/3 (Bet365).