If current league standings are any kind of yardstick then Arbroath will be overwhelming favourites to triumph in today’s Angus derby showdown with Forfarshire.
However, visiting skipper Marc Petrie didn’t dare concur with that theory as he prepared his side for the short hop to Broughty Ferry.
And the cautious captain admitted that any team featuring Chris Greaves are capable of great feats.
Petrie said: “Of course we will go to Forthill high in confidence after our great start to the season.
“But, as the old cliche stresses, form flies out of the window when it comes to matches between close rivals.”
On the threat of Shire player-coach Greaves, he went on: “Chris is a fantastic performer who has scored some big runs on big occasions this year and I don’t think it will be long before he receives a Scotland call-up.
“But it would be foolish to focus on him and him alone.
“Matty Parker has been in excellent form and we have heard that Craig Wallace is coming up from England specially for this game. We are all too aware what he is capable of doing!”
Petrie added: “We are heartened by the fact that we also have proven matchwnners.
“Brendon Ford is in decent touch and we have Fraser Burnett back in the top order.
“Elton Willemse is absent for family reasons, so it is another opportunity for 16 year old Adam Brewer to make his Premiership debut following the disappointment of last week’s rain.
“We have had a good week’s training and the boys are all motivated.”
Greaves admitted he is full of anticipation.
He enthused: “It has always been a sparkling fixture filled with great cricket and a massive suspense.
“We are buying to make an impact, we are in a good space – and it is just a matter of time.
“Arbroath’s style will entertain any cricket lover and it will be interesting to say the least.
“Obviously for myself it’s a whole new experience, I don’t want to think about it too deeply as I am focused for the right reason and hope to make a winning contribution”
Struggling Falkland will see the home-turf clash with newly promoted SMRH as a chance to steady the ship – though they will be mindful of the fact that they did inflict a shock on Glenrothes last time out.
Falkland skipper Stuart Campbell said: “We are boosted by the return of Grant Doig from university, along with Adam Ferguson.
Callum Watson is also in the line-up on the back of impressive displays in the Scottish Cup and Village Cup.”
Glenrothes make the jaunt to Goldenacre to face Heriot’s, bolstered by the return to the attack of fit-again Scotland paceman Safyaan Sharif.
Fred Culley also returns to the batting ranks.
Elsewhere, unbeaten Grange should be too strong for Watsonians at Raeburn Place, while champions Carlton will be fancied to step up their revival with a victory over Aberdeenshire in the capital.
Leaders Uddingston have the chance to inflict a third consecutive defeat on champions Clydesdale in the day’s most eye-catching fixture.
The match sees Uddingston play at Bothwell Castle Policies for the first time in the league and skipper Bryan Clarke declared: “We’re delighted to finally get to play at our own ground and it’s a bonus that we’re going into the game as league leaders.
“Things have gone really well for us over the last couple of weeks. I don’t think we’ve been at our best yet but we are beginning to show what we are capable of.
“We’re not judging Clydesdale after last weekend when they were without Richie (Berrington).
“For me, they’ll be strong and, if anything, even more determined to get back on track.
“I think everyone recognises this will be the most competitive season since the return of the Union. Every week there seems to be big games and it really does feel like a good competition.”
Today’s match marks the beginning of a potentially season-defining spell for Clydesdale who host Carlton in the Scottish Cup tomorrow (Sun) before a crucial local derby against Poloc next Saturday.
The Titwood side welcome back Scotland duo Richie Berrington and Con de Lange who featured in Sunday’s historic win over Sri Lanka and spokesman Colin Mitchell said: “When international players return the rest of the guys feed off it – especially when they’ve been involved in something as special as last week.
“Richie is in the form of his life and is highly motivated in every game.
“I’m not particularly surprised to see Uddingston at the top as, along with Poloc, I think they have the strongest squad in the division so our next two league games will bring some real challenges as will the cup tie against national champions Carlton.”
Elsewhere Poloc and Prestwick, having lost their unbeaten records a week ago, will bid to bounce back when they clash at Shawholm.
The contest between bat and ball should be a fascinating one with the home side boasting three of the eight highest team totals so far while, in Sachin Chaudhary and Mitchell Rao, Prestwick have two of the leading wicket-takers.
Greenock, boosted by their first win back in the top flight, have home advantage against an Ayr team who are among the early contenders.
The Glenpark side, who could welcome back skipper Jonathan Hempsey from injury, have pinpointed prolific former New Zealand Test batsman Michael Papps as an obvious threat to their hopes of another win though Papps’ opening partner Neil Smith is currently out-scoring his team-mate.
Ferguslie, one of several teams who could finish the day in top spot should Uddingston slip up, are favourites to take the points from their Meikleriggs meeting with East Kilbride.
Kelburne, the only side yet to register a victory, take the trip down the M74 to face a Dumfries team looking to build on their win over Clydesdale last time out.