Friday is the day a Championship season like no other comes to a close.
Hearts may have spoilt the usual tighter-than-Steven-Thompson’s-trousers second tier league table but there’s still plenty at stake on the final day.
Dundee and Raith Rovers will have one eye on each other’s scoreline as they battle it out for second place.
However, a relegation play-off head-to-head at the other end promises plenty of nail-biting tension at Gayfield.
The rest may not have promotion, play-offs or relegation places to jump into or out of but there’s still lots to play for elsewhere.
After 26 Championship matches and just one left to go, who can do what come the final whistle?
Queen of the South v Dundee
The only team that can pip Raith Rovers in second are James McPake’s Dundee after they beat the Kirkcaldy outfit last time out.
The Dark Blues will need to defeat Queen of the South to take advantage of any slip coming from Rovers against Hearts.
A draw would mean Raith would need to lose by six for Dundee to move into second.
McPake’s men haven’t been higher than third in the Championship all season but can top that on the final day if all goes their way.
In fact, Dundee haven’t been second in the league since matchday two of last season – 51 consecutive Championship matchdays.
Dundee won 3-0 on their last trip to Palmerston, Osman Sow scoring all three goals.
Queens, meanwhile, have achieved safety and can’t get into the promotion play-offs.
In securing Championship status for another year they continue as the division’s longest-serving club – having played in the second tier since it’s rebrand from First Division to Championship in 2013.
The Doonhamers will also say a fond farewell to talisman Stephen Dobbie after he announced his departure from the club.
After returning to Palmerston five years ago, Dobbie has smashed in 69 goals in 137 Championship matches – in 2018/19 he scored 43 goals in 45 matches to break a club record.
His tally for the club over two spells sits at 166 goals in 282 games going into his final game.
The 38-year-old also made his Queens debut against Dundee back in 2006.
Raith Rovers v Hearts
The Jambos lifted the trophy last weekend and have been champions-in-waiting for much of the season.
Though, with plenty pressure from unhappy supporters on manager Robbie Neilson, he’ll be determined to finish the campaign on a high before heading for the Premiership.
No away win since the start of February is also an unwanted run Hearts will be very keen to put an end to before the summer break.
There is no doubt there is more resting on this game from a Raith perspective.
Since the end of January, John McGlynn’s side have only been below second place for two matchdays.
However, they need victory over the league champions to ensure that’s the position they finish this time around.
In doing so, they would join Livingston and Gretna as the only teams since Meadowbank Thistle in 1988 to finish in the top two immediately following promotion from the third tier.
Finishing second, of course, means a place in the Premiership promotion play-off semi-final, leaving the Championship runners-up four matches away from going up.
Arbroath v Greenock Morton
A battle for second place and easier route through the play-offs pales into comparison with the Championship’s barnstormer at Gayfield.
The winner stays up, simple as that.
If Morton lose, they’ll need at least a six-goal defeat for Ayr at Inverness to scramble out of the relegation play-off spot.
Should Gus McPherson’s side win, they leapfrog the Red Lichties to safety.
That would leave Dick Campbell and his men hoping for anything but a win for the Honest Men up north.
Aside from the result, an injury to Arbroath No 1 Derek Gaston during the match could see Rab Douglas pressed back into action at the age of 49.
That would make him the world’s seventh oldest footballer, though still behind his old mentor Bobby Geddes up the road at Dundee.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Ayr United
Caley Thistle are all-but guaranteed fifth place after a strong run of form under interim boss Neil McCann pulled them out of trouble near the bottom.
It would take a couple of freak scorelines to see them fall behind Queen of the South with the Doonhamers needing to win and make up 16 goals on the Highland outfit.
It will also be McCann’s last match in charge as he hands back the reins to John Robertson for next season.
The Honest Men, meanwhile, have it all to play for.
Ayr have only managed three league wins since the start of December and are out of the relegation play-off spot by goal difference alone.
A second Championship victory for Hopkin since he arrived will see them safe, however.
A draw could make things all sorts of complicated but will also see them safe.
That’s thanks to their two rivals Arbroath and Morton playing each other.
Do that and Arbroath lose, the Lichties finish ninth. Should Arbroath win or draw then Ayr are safe and Ton go to the play-off.
In simple terms, Ayr need a result to guarantee safety. Lose and they are at the mercy of Morton.
Alloa v Dunfermline
The match with least to play for but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing at stake.
Of course, professional pride but the Pars can still move themselves up to third at the expense of Dundee.
Three points separate the teams while the Dark Blues edge the goal difference by two.
That means Stevie Crawford’s side need to see the Dee beaten and win by more than one goal.
Should they do that, it would be Dunfermline’s best league finish since they were relegated from the top flight in 2011/12.
Unfortunately for Alloa, their fate was sealed some time ago as the Championship’s bottom side.
They still boast the title of the country’s second-best part-time outfit but will ply their trade in League One next season.
They will also have a new man at the helm as Peter Grant leaves the manager’s role after this game.
🏆 Scottish Championship table pic.twitter.com/PginKtE5G9
— SPFL (@spfl) April 24, 2021