Kilmarnock vs Ayr UnitedScottish Championship, KO: 19:45 Aug 2, 2021, Rugby Park
KILMARNOCK kick-off their Scottish Championship campaign against arch-rivals Ayr United at Rugby Park on Monday night.
This will be the first time these old foes have faced each other on league duty for 28 years following Killie's relegation from the Scottish Premiership.
Tommy Wright is undertaking an extensive rebuild at Rugby Park as they aim to bounce back at the first time of asking.
As such, Wright and Co will be desperate to hit the ground running in their crunch Ayrshire derby curtain-raiser on Monday night.
Ayr United, on the other hand, will be aiming to improve on last season's eighth-placed finish in the Scottish Championship, with the Honest Men only narrowly avoiding the pressure cooker of a relegation play-off.
Having said that, David Hopkin's charges have made a confident start to the campaign with some impressive showings in the Premier Sports Cup, including an eye-catching 1-0 win at Hamilton.
Unsurprisingly, recently relegated Kilmarnock are heavily fancied here, with a home win trading at a lowly 4/7 with Bet 365.
Ayr United are 4/1 outsiders with William Hill while the stalemate is chalked up at 5/2 with the same firm.
There have been lots of comings and goings at Kilmarnock over the summer so I'm going to swerve the match result market here and instead head to William Hill's Build Your Odds feature.
If we combine over zero Kilmarnock goals alongside over one Ayr card we can get some 5/6 (William Hill) and that looks like a nice way in.
Indeed, Ayr shut out all of their opponents during the League Cup group stage but the short trip to Rugby Park for this showdown will represent an upgrade on previous challenges.
Kilmarnock have signalled their intent during the transfer window by capturing a number of players with top-tier experience, not to mention they will be roared on by over 3000 supporters for this all-Ayrshire affair.
With that in mind, coupled with Kilmarnock's superior quality, I'll back the hosts to hit the back of the net here, but in order to boost up the price, I'll throw over one Ayr card into the mix.
Hopkin's sides' are famed for aggression and physicality and with both teams bound to be right up for this one, I'm happy to complete the combination with over one Ayr card.
With all things considered, the 37/40 (Bet 365) about over three asian cards also looks like an attractive betting proportion.
Here we'd be paid out if four or more cards are flashed while our stake would be refunded if exactly three cards are awarded during this hotly-anticipated dust-up.
What's more, Killie and Ayr have thrown up some fiery fixtures over the years and we also have a decent referee in Don Robertson who was averaging over three cards per game last season.
This Scottish Championship match between Kilmarnock and Ayr United will be played on Aug 2, 2021 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Kilmarnock vs Ayr United prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.