Motherwell entertain St Mirren at Fir Park on Saturday as the Premiership resumes after the international break.
Both teams have enjoyed a flying start to the season and a close contest can be expected. The last four meetings have been settled by a one goal margin.
Stephen Robinson has seen his team start the league campaign with wins over Hibs and Dundee followed by draws with Aberdeen and Livingston. They trail Motherwell by a couple of points but spirits are high in Paisley.
Former ‘Well players Mikel Mandron and Mark O’Hara have provided the bulk of the visitors’ goals to date but O’Hara has been missing for a few weeks. It may be that he will return to the squad this weekend.
Stuart Kettlewell’s hope of playing a consistent starting eleven has been ended with the ongoing injury crisis. The loss of three strikers and this week’s departure of Joe Efford gives Theo Bair another chance to lead the line. The club reports that support from Blair Spittal, so vital in recent weeks, may be in doubt as the midfielder will be assessed later in the week.
Paul McGinn’s award of a dodgy second yellow card at Tynecastle will force an unwanted change in defence. Shane Blaney will be also be subject to a late test.
Five Steelmen were with their national teams over the break. Liam Kelly had to withdraw from the Scotland squad and he is rated as doubtful for Saturday’s game.
If Kettlewell’s unbeaten run is to continue he will need some good news from the treatment room. If one or two of the doubts can be passed fit a win against the odds might be possible otherwise e 1-1 share may suit both teams.