The pre-season warm up has done little to instill any self belief in the ‘Well squad. Two wins, two losses and a draw against lower league opposition caused Terry Butcher to remark ‘if we defend like that in the SPL we’ll be in trouble”.
But we must avoid the temptation of projecting too much from too little. We have a mixture of the new and familiar in the squad and they will be keen to impress. There are a few injury worries to key players and fans can only guess at the starting line up.
Our recent record against Celtic is not too bad. We gained our only top six point against them in May when Clarkson was on target and our trip to Parkhead in March also finished one all.
Scott Leitch will make his long awaited competitive return. His last appearance was last September – at Parkhead and his performance together with that of Phil O’Donnell in the midfield will have a huge bearing on our fortunes.
Goals have been few and far between in the warm up games so we can only hope that some combination of Clarkson, McDonald and new boy Ritchie Foran can find the net.
Anything can happen in the first game of the campaign and our hosts, being strong favourites (Ladbrokes quotes them at 1/7, 5/1 for the draw with a ‘Well win at 11/1) will be under pressure if we can keep them out until the break. But the bookies are rarely wrong – it looks like a 2-0 defeat.