Motherwell will be hoping Santa drops off an early present at Fir Park on Sunday when Rangers arrive for the noon kick-off.
Stuart Kettlewell’s men have become draw experts of late as five of the last seven games finished level. That does not mask the sad tale of fourteen without a win and it will be a major surprise if that run is not expended to fifteen when the turkey is carved.
A first clean sheet in almost four months arrived in Paisley last week as a welcome boost for Liam Kelly and his mixed bag of defenders. A series of injuries has forced the manager to shuffle his back line but the threesome of Shane Blaney, Bevis Mugabi and Stephen O’Donnell rebuffed the threats from St Mirren. They may start again as Calum Butcher is rated as doubtful and Dan Casey is still weeks away from a return.
Keep the heid
Last week Mika Biereth started the game without a recognised striking partner as the team started with four in midfield. Will the same strategy apply on Sunday?
Rangers had a midweek win over the ten men of St Johnstone on Wednesday but at the cost of injuries to Kemar Roofe and John Lundstram. Fortunately for the Govan side the size and quality of their playing squad enables them to cope with their heavy schedule with ease. Cyriel Dessers and James Tavernier (from the spot again) scored the goals.
David Dickinson will be in charge for the lunchtime kick-off.
Dusty records books have to be disturbed to find evidence of a ‘Well win against Rangers in a regular league game at Fir Park. Motherwell’s fighting qualities have been best shown when they have been forced to throw everything forward to come from behind. No doubt we’ll see another example on Sunday but it is unlikely to tip the balance. A 2-0 loss would not be a surprise.