Motherwell and St Johnstone meet at McDiarmid Park on Saturday with a move up the table the prize for the winner.
Both teams enjoyed a couple of league wins before the latest international break but while Motherwell had a fortnight without competition St Johnstone were kept busy with Betfred Cup group stage ties.
Devante Cole on the score sheet
With the far travelled internationalists back from duty late in the week Stephen Robinson will have only a short time to lay out his plan for Saturday’s game. The contributions made to the Scotland team by Declan Gallagher and Stephen O’Donnell reflects well on the club and must give a boost to their team-mates.
Recent results against the Perth club offer grounds for optimism for the Fir Park side. An early Allan Campbell goal in September was enough to clinch a home win earlier this season and the previous campaign produced two wins from three for the Steelmen.
The break may have given enough time to allow a shortening of Motherwell’s substantial injury list. We may say one or two familiar names back on the bench.
The home side have failed to score in ten of their fourteen league games so far and they must be delighted that the League Cup has provided a chance against lower league opposition. Seven goals against Brechin and three against Peterhead might give them some belief.
Stevie May and David Wotherspoon lead the Saints scorers’ list but we’ll hope that the claret and amber forwards keep Zander Clark occupied for the majority of the game.
If Tony Watt and pals make the best of their scoring opportunities then a happy return down the A9 will follow with a 2-0 win.