Ross County vs MotherwellScottish Premiership, KO: 19:45 Aug 3, 2020, Global Energy Stadium
MOTHERWELL upset the odds to finish third in the Premiership last season but face a tricky start to the new campaign with a trip to Dingwall to face Ross County.
Stephen Robinson seems to have recruited well again this summer, bringing in Rickie Lamie, Mark O'Hara and Jordan White while sealing loan deals for Wigan's Callum Lang and Jake Hastie of Rangers.
Winger Hastie earned his move to Ibrox after dazzling at Fir Park and will be out to kickstart his career again alongside former youth team pals Allan Campbell and David Turnbull.
Celtic tried to land Turnbull last summer only for a knee problem to be flagged up in his medical, forcing the midfielder to undergo surgery that ruled him out for most of last term. But he's fit again and will be key to Motherwell's hopes of challenging in the upper half of the table again.
Ross County managed to consolidate last season under co-bosses Stuart Kettlewell and Stevie Ferguson after winning promotion. But Kettlewell is now in sole charge of the first team, with Ferguson having moved upstairs.
The Staggies have plenty of firepower in Billy Mckay, Ross Stewart, Lee Erwin and Oli Shaw but shipped 60 goals last ternm, more than any other Premiership side. If Kettlewell hasn't sorted out that defence then a fight against the drop could beckon.
How the bookies view it
Motherwell are the favourites at a best 5/4 with Genting while County are 12/5 with Betfair while the stalemate is 28/11 with VBet. I'm steering clear of this market but wouldn't be hugely surprised if it ended level.
Recent head to head
Motherwell have won their last two games against Ross County, including a 2-1 victory in Dingwall on Boxing Day (below). But the Staggies won the two meetings before that so it has been pretty even.
Players to watch
County hitman Stewart started last season with a bang, netting four goals in their first two matches in the League Cup. He can upset the Motherwell defence and is a generous 11/5 with Bet365 for anytime scorer.
In his first scorer column, Damian Walker flagged up Well's Chris Long to net first at 11/2 with McBookie. But I'm going to stick with the anytime scorer market where the striker is 12/5 with Paddy Power.
If Turnbull starts he looks good value at 4/1 with 888Sport for a goal but Robinson has hinted he won't rush him back so he may just have a cameo off the bench.
Anything else catch the eye?
Both teams to score has come up in the last four games between Ross County and Motherwell, with a repeat priced 4/5 with Bet365.
I can see there being a few goals as four of the last five meetings in Dingwall have treated us to over 2.5 goals. Such an outcome pays evens with 888Sport for this one and that's worth a punt.
This Scottish Premiership match between Ross County and Motherwell will be played on Aug 3, 2020 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Ross County vs Motherwell prediction.