The third round of matches in the Scottish League Cup sees Morton travelling to Fir Park to face Premiership side Motherwell. Both sides got their League Cup campaigns off with impressive victories, Motherwell brushing aside Queen of the South 3-0 and Morton hammering Dumbarton 6-1 on Tuesday night. Both teams will be very confident coming into this one following their great results and the winner of this tie will be in pole position to win the group. With the security of a second-placed qualification spot in the group, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for either team should they lose, even if it were on penalties.
As I said, the Premiership side got off to a great start with a win over Championship side Queen of the South. However, they didn’t particularly blow them away, it took three late goals to get the job done, starting with a 71st minute penalty. With this tournament starting in pre-season, it’s important to not look into how these teams are playing, with squad numbers increasing by the week and more starting XI players returning from holiday.
Morton on the other hand absolutely dominated League One side Dumbarton in a very comprehensive 6-1 victory and will be looking to take a big scalp with victory over Motherwell. What caught Dumbarton out was how quickly Morton started, as they raced to a 5-0 lead by half time, they’ll be looking to catch the Premiership side out in the same manner come Friday night and really take the tie by the scruff of the neck.
Following Motherwell’s first match, I’d be expecting the starting XI to stay fairly similar for this match. However, they may be looking to integrate a few more first team players into their squad. After losing midfielder Jake Hastie to Rangers and the ongoing transfer debacle surrounding David Turnbull, Motherwell haven’t invested too much this summer and their squad choice is fairly similar to last year. With Motherwell losing their main goal threats, they were forced to delve into the market and the responsibility will really fall onto Devante Cole’s shoulders. The former Burton Albion winger will be looking to hit the ground running coming into the new season. Another of their Summer purchases Dutchman Sherwin Seedorf impressed after coming on against Queen of the South with a late goal to make it 2-0 and he could be in line for a start on Friday.
Morton manager David Hopkins would have been over the moon with his team’s dominant display last time out and with this in mind, I think their team will be unchanged. The only worry that he has could be seen as a positive one, with no proven goalscorer in his team, the goals came from all around the team on Tuesday. He may look to change up his attacking options to trial different combinations prior to their more likely winnable matches against Annan and Queen of the South.
Goals were definitely at the top of the agenda for both teams in their last matches and I’m expecting more of the same. You can get Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.60 and following their pre seasons you’d be expecting goals. Another bet I like the look of is coupling the goals up with Motherwell Win, you can get Motherwell Win & Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.05.
As I mentioned previously, with Motherwell losing two of their main attacking threats, a lot of the responsibility will fall onto Devante Cole’s shoulders. You can back him to score anytime @ 1.95 and I fully expect him to really run this Morton defence ragged. If Motherwell are going to be the dominant team, he should get many chances to find the back of the net.