St Johnstone vs Ayr UnitedScottish League Cup, KO: 19:45 Jul 25, 2023, McDiarmid Park
ST JOHNSTONE made amends for a horror start in the Viaplay Cup when they annihilated Alloa at the weekend and now face a tricky home encounter against Championship side Ayr United on Tuesday.
Saints were embarrassed in their opening game at Stenhousemuir when they lost 1-0 at Ochilview, but the Perth side were far too good for Alloa at the Indodrill at the weekend with a 4-0 romp.
Ayr United were frustrated by Stirling Albion in their opening game in the section and had to settle for a draw, although they did get the bonus point for winning on penalties.
And they narrowly edged past Stenny last week in a game that was played in Cumnock but viewed as a home game.
The Honest Men were rocked by the departure of top scorer Dipo Akinyemi who went to York City this summer, although they made plenty of headlines last week when they secured the signing of veteran winger Aiden McGeady as a player-technical director.
St Johnstone have been very quiet in the transfer market so far this summer and manager Steven MacLean has only brought in Luke Jephcott from Plymouth Argyle and keeper Dimitar Mitov.
How the bookies view it
Recent head to heads
The sides met a year ago almost to the day at the same stage and St Johnstone eased to a 1-0 win. Ayr hasn't defeated Saints for 21 years.
Players to watch
Stevie May really came on to a game at the end of last season and has started this season well too after neyying his first goal of the new campaign at Alloa.
Jamie Murphy moved from St Johnstone to Ayr this summer and the veteran ex-Rangers and Hibs winger is an important man for Lee Bullen's side.
Anything else catch the eye?
St Johnstone are too short to be backing at any real confidence at odds-on and this could be a tight encounter. Although Saints did bag four goals at the weekend, that's very much an exception and they are not a team who tend to score too many goals. The call here is under 2.5 goals at 23/20 with bet365.
On a similar note, McDiarmid Park wasn't exactly the home of goals being scored last season – they only scored 18 goals in Perth which was the lowest tally in the league. Paddy Power are offering 5/4 for a goal not to be scored in both halves and that should be backed.
This Scottish League Cup match between St Johnstone and Ayr United will be played on Jul 25, 2023 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best St Johnstone vs Ayr United prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.