A ‘bread and butter’ win on Saturday could prove sweet for Falkirk - because they’re the jam in a Championship sandwich.
Two teams above the Bairns – Rangers and Hibs – face the two sides directly below them – Morton and Raith Rovers – while Peter Houston’s side squares off against Livingston.
Something has to give and with the right result, Falkirk could either close the gap on the top two, or increase their eight point cushion and pull away into a genuine three-way race for the title.
Bairns defender Peter Grant says it’s the former they are interested in and they won’t look down: “This is the time of year where the league table starts to take shape.
“We have Livingston then a double header against Rangers and Hibs the two teams above us and they’ll take care of themselves.
“We have to take care of the bread and butter games like Queen of the South, Raith Rovers and Livingston. We have managed to get results even if the performances have been below par and that’s a sign of success for a team.
“We don’t want to look behind us. Our next game is our biggest, and after that the next one will be the biggest.
“That’s the way we all look at it. Our aim is to keep the pressure up on the teams above us and we know we can take on Hibs and Rangers on our day, but we have to do the business against teams below us to keep the pressure on.”
The ‘bread and butter ‘ game against Livingston has Falkirk sandwiched between two other ties that will have a bearing on what way they are looking heading into the festive fixtures which take the Bairns through to 2016 and a January 9 cup date with Dundee.
Boss Peter Houston said: “We want to get three points on the day when Rangers play Raith and Hibs face Morton. We’d like to make it a good weekend and that would be us winning and seeing what happens elsewhere.
“Successful teams and good teams can handle both cup campaigns and league runs. We need to make sure the cup is a bonus to be enjoyed but the league is the bread and butter and nothing distracts us from our aim to get back into the elite group.
“It’ll be a test. Livingston have shown a good bit of form. Liam Buchanan and Jordan White are a threat to anyone.
“I’ve heard Mark Burchill say his team will take points off the big teams in the league – I’m convinced he was counting ourselves within that too! We have a comfy gap over teams below us, we need to maintain that gap and extend it if we can.” If Stenhousemuir can see off East Kilbride they will play either Huntly or Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.