Motherwell travel to Rugby Park to open their Premiership campaign against Kilmarnock on Saturday afternoon.
After a strong league cup group stage, the Fir Parkers progressed to the knockout stages where they will face Celtic next week.
But the league has been the focus point for Mark McGhee and his side in pre-season, as they work hard to prepare for the curtain raiser this weekend.
Strikers Louis Moult and Jacob Blyth will remain side-lined as the pair work hard to recover from their relative injuries.
However, with Scott McDonald, Marvin Johnson and Chris Cadden in fine goal-scoring form in recent weeks, the Steelmen still have plenty of options at their disposal.
The trio all struck in the cup clashes against East Stirlingshire and Stranraer and will hope to extend their purple patches going in to the first game of the league season.
New signings Ben Heneghan, Richard Tait and Carl McHugh will likely make their debuts in the Scottish top flight, while trialist Craig Clay could be in line to keep his place in McGhee’s starting line-up.
Craig Samson, who has looked assured in the league cup so far, will be confident of continuing to fend off the pressure from Dean Brill, who arrived this summer and is hungry to challenge for the number one jersey.
Summer signing Richard Tait has enjoyed a solid start to life in Claret and Amber since returning north of the border from Grimsby.
The Galashiels-born right back was with Nottingham Forest before joining Tamworth. He played almost 200 games with the Lambs before spells with Cambridge and Grimsby, where he was part of the promotion winning side who stepped up to League 2 via the Playoffs.
He joined the Steelmen on a three-year deal back in June and since being handed the number two jersey, the 26-year-old doesn’t look like he’s planning on giving it up soon.
Speaking to the press ahead of the league opener on Saturday, Tait said: “I think everyone’s excited for the first league game to come, the competitive games have already started with the cup, so it’s been nice to play in them and play in games that you need to win, so that should hold us in good stead for the first league game on Saturday.”
The 26-year-old also admitted that a poor run in the cup could hamper your chances as the league starts.
[pullquote]I think our performances so far will hold us in good stead for Saturday and I think we’ll go there with confidence.[/pullquote]
He said: “In terms of confidence, if you’re not performing well in the cup you could go in to the league season thinking ‘we need to get a win somewhere’, but I think our performances so far will hold us in good stead for Saturday and I think we’ll go there with confidence.”
Having signed for the club back in June on a three year deal, the Scotsman admitted that he has enjoyed his time here so far.
The full-back said: “It’s been terrific so far; I’m really enjoying it.
“Pre-season has been tough but it’s been enjoyable at the same time and it’s a lot easier when you enjoy it.”
He also added that the experience of his defensive partners is helping him and fellow new-signing Ben Heneghan.
He added: “For me and Ben, anything that McManus and Hammell say to us we’re going to take it in and we’re going to use it, so it’s great to play alongside players with that experience and we can only learn from it.”
Saturday’s opponents required a 4-1 play-off final victory over Championship side Falkirk to keep their Premiership status intact last season, but under the guidance of Lee Clark and Lee McCulloch will be hoping for greater success this term.
But it hasn’t been the greatest start to life in 2016/17, with a couple of poor results in the Betfred Cup leaving Killie second placed in Group H and tumbling out of the competition early.
The last time out, Lee Clark’s side went to penalties against Albion Rovers, where they lost 5-3 on penalties at home.
While it hasn’t been the best of starts for the club, they have certainly shook things up over the summer, introducing no fewer than 11 new signings on one day.
‘Well boss Mark McGhee insists that the volume of new additions won’t phase the Steelmen though.
Speaking to the press this morning he said: “We’ve done our due diligence – we know who they are and what foot they kick with, we know what they can do and what they can’t do.
“What we then do is take all that information and try and distil that in to a picture for Saturday that will be fairly accurate as to how they’ll come out and play.”