Elgin City vs MotherwellScottish League Cup, KO: 15:00 Jul 15, 2023, Borough Briggs
MOTHERWELL ended last season on fire, but now face up to life after Kevin van Veen, starting at Elgin City on Saturday in the Viaplay Cup.
Stuart Kettlwwell's side didn't want the season to finish after a sensational run that saw the Lanarkshire side lose just two games in the 14 he was in charge since they were bundled out of the Scottish Cup by Raith Rovers in February and one of those defeats was to Rangers.
A large part of that success of course were the goals of Dutch hitman van Veen. He broke records with his scoring run where he scored 14 goals in his last 11 games and netted in every game.
But he's left for Groningen and Well must find a replacement and that won't be easy at all, especially since his 25 league goals were 47 per cent of Motherwell's goal total last term.
They have what looks like a penalty kick of an opener at Borough Briggs with Elgin being the biggest outsiders with bookies to win League Two.
Ross Draper has only managed to bring in Aberdeen youngster Liam Harvey on loan and his squad look threadbare with off-the-pitch financial issues hampering them too.
How the bookies view it
Recent head to heads
This will be the clubs' first meeting for 114 years! They last met in the 1909 Scottish Cup and Motherwell triumphed 6-1 at Fir Park.
Players to watch
With van Veen away, Jon Obika will be asked to step up to the mark after making his loan move from Morecambe permanent.
Elgin sold main goal threat Kane Hester to Montrose for £30,000 in the summer and that's the equivalent for them as Well losing van Veen. Ex-Ross County playmaker Russell Dingwall scored 11 goals last season though and he's just signed a new deal.
Anything else catch the eye?
These games – especially the opening weekend – should be treated as a small step-up from pre-season friendlies. Many clubs are nowhere near full strength with signings to come and fitness is usually an issue.
However, Motherwell have already been in the Netherlands for pre-season and defeated Dundee United last week so should be sharp enough.
Elgin were missing eight players from their friendly defeat at Caley Thistle last week and it promises to be a long, hard season for them.
There really should be a gulf in class here and Well can be backed on the -1 handicap at 6/5 with Paddy Power.
This could and should be a mismatch in Moray.
This Scottish League Cup match between Elgin City and Motherwell will be played on Jul 15, 2023 and kick off at 15:00. Check below for our tipsters best Elgin City vs Motherwell prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.