Motherwell travel to take on Stranraer in the first away trip of the 2018/19 season on Saturday.
It is the second game of the Betfred Cup group stage for Stephen Robinson’s side, and after a convincing 5-0 victory over Edinburgh City, the Steelmen have the chance to go top of Group G ahead of the visit of current table toppers Queen of the South on Tuesday.
Players vying for places
There were two high profile absentees for the opening fixture against Edinburgh City, but Stephen Robinson is set to be bolstered by the return of Peter Hartley and Cédric Kipré for the trip to Stair Park.
Add to that the fact that Aaron Taylor-Sinclair is still to make his debut, and the likes of Liam Grimshaw, Gaël Bigirimana and youngster David Turnbull haven’t featured competitively yet, and the ‘Well boss has a number of players fighting for a spot in the starting XI.
New season, new skipper
Peter Hartley could be set to make his first appearance of the season, and his first as club captain, having missed out through suspension in the opening game.
The centre back, who scored three goals last season in his first as a ‘Well player, was on the sidelines for seven months with a foot injury, but could be set to make his long awaited return on Saturday.
Stranraer hungry for victory
The hosts started their cup campaign with a thrilling clash against Queen of the South, but were ultimately on the wrong side of the eight-goal encounter as the Doonhamers won 5-3.
With just one game played so far, the League One outfit will be keen to keep their cup hopes alive as the Steelmen arrive for Saturday’s showdown.
Having bagged three goals in their first game, the Blues are just one short of matching their entire haul in last season’s Betfred Cup, when they scored four.
Same stage, same opposition
James Farrell’s Stranraer side are no strangers for ‘Well, who faced the Blues in Group F of this competition in 2016.
On that day, Mark McGhee’s men ran out 3-0 winners at a sunny Stair Park in the final fixture of the group.
The Fir Parkers qualified for the knockout rounds as a result, with goals from Chris Cadden, Marvin Johnson and Scott McDonald securing second spot in the table behind Rangers.