Falkirk V Dumbarton at Falkirk Stadium - Match Preview

Duffie blow for Bairns

Kieran Duffie misses Falkirk's game with bottom-placed Dumbarton through suspension.

The defender is banned after being dismissed in the 1-0 win at Dunfermline on Boxing Day.

Craig Sibbald has shaken off an ankle problem to stake a claim for a start.

The Bairns' technical director Alex Smith has told the club's youngsters that they now need to handle the expectations of being favourites in games.

Smith explained: "We are on a good run but not many people would have tipped our side to go to East End Park and win. They did that and that has increased expectations.

"As a result the players are now entering a game they will be expected to win and they have to show that they now have the mental toughness to cope with that."

Dumbarton will be missing the suspended Stephen Grindlay when they return to league action after a five-week gap.

The goalkeeper finally serves a one-game ban after being dismissed in their last First Division outing.

The contest will be player/manager Ian Murray's first quest for three points and the former Scotland international has ruled himself out due to a groin injury.

New signing striker Marc McCusker is included, but Kevin Nicol's comeback has been delayed due to a rib injury and Pat Walker is also absent.

Murray said: "This is the start of a run against the four top teams in the league and it would be great to begin it positively. Falkirk are going well but we are looking forward to the game."

Source: PA

Source: PA