Motherwell will travel to Hampden on Sunday to face Rangers in the semi-final of the Betfred Cup. They will be backed by around 9,000 supporters keen to return to the final in November.
While our historical record against the Ibrox side offers little encouragement, current form suggests that there is little between the teams. We are a point behind Rangers in the league table and in confident mood thanks to a productive start to the season after 11 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses to date.
That's the challenge!
Stephen Robinson cleared the decks in the summer and set high standards. He is held in high regard by players and fans and we can be sure that the team will expect a successful afternoon.
There will be little change from the settled composition and shape that has served so well in recent weeks. The manager has demonstrated that he can change formation if needed but his prime concern will be to play to our strengths. Delivering the ball to Moult and Bowman, especially from the flanks, will be a priority. Tait, Cadden and Frear will be called on to keep the strikers supplied.
With Kipré and Hartley at the heart of defence we have height and strength aplenty. Much has been made of Hartley’s comments last weekend when he made it clear that he would be comfortable with any physical encounters but his three goals this season also point to an attacking threat.
Our opponents have grown in belief since their early season embarrassment in Luxembourg. They have also found a way to score and since their last goalless match, in August, they have averaged almost three a game.
Morelos has displaced Miller up front and together with Windass, Pena and Candeias they will keep our back line busy.
In the only previous meeting of the teams this season Rangers needed a late penalty to open their league campaign with a narrow win at Fir Park. Motherwell took heart from that early test and will look to reverse the score on Sunday. A 2-1 win will see us into the final.