Queen's Park vs MotherwellScottish League Cup, KO: 19:45 Jul 14, 2021, Firhill
MOTHERWELL'S League Cup opener against Queen's Park is a potential banana skin as Graham Alexander looks to get his new-look side up to speed.
It has been a summer of transition at Fir Park and Alexander has lost his two most influential players, with midfielder Allan Campbell joining Luton and stopper Declan Gallagher moving north to Aberdeen.
Deavante Cole, Well's most impressive striker last term, has also departed for Barnsley so Alexander has been forced to reconstruct the spine of his team.
Connor Shields looks a shrewd signing up front after impressing from Queen of the South while keeper Liam Kelly has signed up after impressing on loan from QPR last season.
But Motherwell still look a bit short in defence and midfield so Queen's Park will fancy their chances of springing a cup shock at their temporary Firhill home.
The Spiders romped to the League Two title last season and have ambitions to climb much higher. It was a surprise when boss Ray McKinnon stood down at the end of the season and Laurie Ellis has now taken the reins.
Queen's Park won 1-0 at Championship side Queen of the South in their League Cup opener so Motherwell will know they can't afford to take their eye of the ball.
How the bookies view it
It's no surprise to see Motherwell as odds-on favourites and they are a best 3/8 at SBK for the win. Long-odds punters might fancy a nibble at the 15/2 on offer at Genting for a Queen's win while the draw pays 9/2 with the same firm.
Head to head
Motherwell have won the last nine meetings and you have to go back to 1979 for the last Queen's victory, a 4-1 Fir Park triumph in the League Cup. The last game between these sides also came in this competition as Well romped to a 5-1 win at Hampden in 2017 (below).
Players to watch
Aussie Will Baynham surprisingly got the nod ahead of Simon Murray up front for Queen's at Palmerston on Saturday. Ellis might be loath to change a winning side so Baynham could be worth a punt for anytime scorer once the bookies price up that market.
Shields should be the main man up front for Well after his exploits for Queen of the South last term. He scored twice in the League Cup group games last term and could get off to a flier here.
Anything else catch the eye?
With Well still looking to gel and Queen's coming off the back of an impressive win, it could be a tough night for the Premiership side. So it might be worth back the Spiders in the handicaps where Queen’s Park +2 is 8/11 at 888Sport.
Motherwell's defence has been weakened by the loss of Gallagher and Charles Dunne and that makes both teams to score worth a shout at a best 17/20 with Genting.
Betting on most goals coming in the second half paid off for me when Dundee United faced a similar tie at League Two Kelty. That bet stands a chance here too and pays 15/13 at SportNation.
This Scottish League Cup match between Queen's Park and Motherwell will be played on Jul 14, 2021 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Queen's Park vs Motherwell prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.