Rangers come calling on Sunday as Motherwell return to Ladbrokes Premiership action.
The two teams served up entertaining affairs last campaign and the weekend’s game is already promising to be another cracker.
A record to break
Under the stewardship of new manager Steven Gerrard, Rangers are yet to go behind in a competitive game in 2018/19.
With 10 matches under their belts, the Light Blues have gone 900 minutes of football without conceding first.
A rejigged defence has also kept six clean sheets this campaign and, in the four games they’ve let goals in, they’ve not conceded more than one.
Motherwell’s league season didn’t get off to the ideal start but cup success has continued.
Having come through the Betfred Cup group stages undefeated, a 1-0 win at Livingston in the second round has sent the Steelmen into the quarter finals and lifted spirits.
The ‘Well have also kept shutouts in three of their seven competitive games so far, netting 12 and conceding six.
Goals in store?
While both teams have shown defensive solidity for the most part in 2018/19, there’s still been plenty goals to offer up entertainment to supporters.
Motherwell matches have averaged 2.7 goals per game already this season, while Rangers’ record stands at 1.8.
When it comes to putting the ball in the net, Sunday’s hosts have a record of 1.7 per game, while the visitors’ scoring rate currently stands at 1.4.
The 2017/18 season served up a mixed bag of results in the Motherwell v Rangers fixture.
The Steelmen got the result in the biggest fixture of them all, with Louis Moult’s double putting his side through to the Betfred Cup final at Rangers’ expense.
Rangers got two wins – one at Fir Park and one at Ibrox – before a barnstorming 2-2 draw later on in the season.
Curtis Main and Allan Campbell had the hosts 2-0 to the good, before James Tavernier and Jamie Murphy scored the goals to take home a point.
Hartley: We can win if we give everything
Friday 24 August 2018
Peter Hartley believes Motherwell can make it two wins on the bounce this weekend, as long as everyone in the squad gives maximum effort.
The Steelmen are looking to get their league campaign off the ground after two opening defeats, but are also buoyed by the win in the Betfred Cup against Livingston last weekend.
Live streaming service launched
Friday 24 August 2018
Fans living outside of the UK and Ireland will be able to enjoy live streaming of Motherwell’s Ladbrokes Premiership matches in season 2018/19.
All of the club’s home league fixtures will be available using the subscription service, as well as the majority of away matches, via tv.motherwellfc.co.uk.
Priced at £12 a month, a guaranteed 26 of our remaining 31 top flight matches before the split will be available via the service. Away games with Hamilton, Livingston, Rangers and St Mirren are currently not available.
Linking up with SportsMediaGB, Motherwell’s commentary team will now take up the microphones on the TV service, which will broadcast games from multiple HD camera angles.
Our first game via our new service comes at Fir Park as we host Rangers in the Ladbrokes Premiership on 26 August.
All other home supporters are asked to visit the ticket office or call on 01698 333333 to purchase tickets.
All fans will have their tickets scanned on entry to the stadium. Please ensure your ticket has a barcode. If not, please contact the ticket office.
Try your luck at our Friday quiz
Friday 24 August 2018
Our regular Friday quiz is back again this week and the task for you this time is to name all the scorers from the last 10 encounters between Motherwell and Rangers.
Try your luck and let us know on Facebook or Twitter how you get on.
Robinson pleased with Rangers preparations
Thursday 23 August 2018
Stephen Robinson believes his side have prepared well in training this week ahead of Sunday’s clash with Rangers.
The Northern Irishman is eager to see his squad follow up on an assured 1-0 win over Livingston in the Betfred Cup.
And he believes the players are eager to impress in an important league clash with Steven Gerrard’s side.
He said: “There’s good spirits around the place after a win, and we’ve prepared well this week.
“If we lose, there’s a steely determination about our players. They don’t want to let me down and they don’t want to let the fans down.”
Trevor Carson called up for Northern Ireland
Thursday 23 August 2018
Trevor Carson has been called up to the Northern Ireland squad for their upcoming friendlies.
The stopper, who earned his first cap in the summer against South Korea, makes the cut for Michael O’Neill’s 25-man squad.
They will face Bosnia & Herzegovina and Israel in the upcoming international break.
Headlines from the manager’s press conference
Thursday 23 August 2018
Manager Stephen Robinson spoke to the broadcast media on Thursday, as Motherwell prepare to take on Rangers in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The Northern Irishman tackled a wide range of subjects as his side count down to the televised fixture on Sunday.
On Sunday’s match with Rangers at Fir Park
“I am really looking forward to it. We got our first win against Livingston and I thought we played very well. We did [played well] against Hamilton at times, but didn’t quite get the rub of the green, but it was an important and we need to push on and try and get our league season kicked off.”
On Rangers and what to expect
“They’ve started well, there’s no denying it and look a lot more solid. They don’t look as if they are going to concede too many goals. That said, I’ve seen them in a few games and there are areas I feel we can exploit.
“All the talk will be about Rangers, how they’ve changed and what they are going to do. We have to very much make it about us. We’re at home and have to try and take the game to them.”
On what dynamic Kyle Lafferty will add
“I know Laff [Kyle Lafferty] really well. It’s obviously a good move for him. It’s a club he’s always supported, but I try to concentrate on us. We focus on what we can do to try and beat Rangers and how we can take the game to them. We know what their threats are, I’ve seen them four or five times and I plan to go to their European game as well.
“By the time Sunday comes, we’ll have had a very good look at them. We know where they are strong, we know where they have improved but as I’ve said, we also know where we think we can exploit them.”
On being the underdog in the matches
“I often wonder if we’re actually playing in games like this. No seriously, that’s how it is and I am happy with that and, as you say, go under the radar. It’s an important one for us to try and get our league season kicked off.”
On the Rangers’ threats for the game
“They don’t concede many goals, they are a very disciplined, well-organised side. It’s obvious the new manager and the staff have emphasised that so far this season. They have threats up front, you have already seen what Morelos can do and they’ve brought Laff [Kyle Lafferty] in.
“They’ve got various options, they’ve got different ways, formations they can play and different people they can put in, so we’ll try and be as well prepared as we can for what will come.”
On whether on not Rangers can challenge for the title.
“It’s not for me to say who can challenge for the league title, it’s for me to worry about Motherwell, about kicking our league season off and making sure we go into Sunday with a game plan for trying to win it. It’s not for me to assess Rangers’ chances of winning the league, I am the Motherwell manager and that’s my sole focus.”
On whether last weekend’s win gives the team added confidence going into the match.
“It’s amazing the atmosphere around the place when you do win a game. Obviously everyone was disappointed after the Hamilton game and that was magnified one million times because it’s your local rivals. However, we knew the good things we did in that and what we had to improve on and I felt we did that against Livingston.
“The atmosphere around the place since has been really good, really positive and there’s no fear factor from us. We genuinely believe we can go in and give them a real game.”
On showing Rangers “no respect”
“I am not sure about showing them no respect. I’ve got the upmost respect for every club we play against. So respect yes, but fear factor, no. We’ll try our best to impose ourselves and our game on them.”
On pyrotechnics after Police Scotland’s Chief Constable’s comments on pyrotechnics
“To be honest, I have no knowledge of how dangerous they are. It’s not my area of expertise, I tend to try and stick to what I know. What I would say is that I think Scottish football is very safe and I’d have no problems taking my children to matches.
“As a matter of fact, both are coming to the game this Sunday and I have no concerns. I don’t know if I am in a position to overrule the Chief Constable as it were, he’ll know better than me I suppose.”
On whether pyrotechnics have disrupted any matches
“Personally speaking, they haven’t disrupted any games I’ve been involved in. If anything, they add colour, but I am obviously not an expert on whether they are dangerous or not. All I can speak from is my own experiences and they haven’t caused a problem in any game I’ve been involved.”
On Gary Holt being appointed Livingston manager
“I wish any manager taking any job the very best of luck. It’s such a difficult industry with a severe lack of patience. He’s got experience, he knows the Scottish game and I wish Gary all the very best, expect in games against us, of course.”
On Kenny Miller and if he is of interest now he’s a free agent
“I’ve got a lot of depth in that area at the moment. Ryan Bowman will be available for the game on Sunday having trained all week. You never rule anything out in football, but I certainly wouldn’t discuss who I want to bring to the club in this setting. It’s something I try to keep in house out of respect for everybody.”
On two players included in the Scotland Under 21 squad
“Their inclusion is thoroughly deserved in my opinion. We gave Allan a rest last weekend as he hasn’t had a break all summer. He played five games for the U20s and was terrific, as he was when he came on last weekend. Chris Cadden has gone from strength to strength and I sure Alex [McLeish] will be very aware of both when it comes to the full squad.”
On whether both can progress to the full Scotland squad
“I do – I’ve spoke to Alex at games and he’s very aware of both boys. It’s only a matter of time, but it’s obviously important that both keep doing the business for Motherwell and keep producing their best form and if they do, I am sure they’ll get their just rewards.”
What other teams news do you have ahead of the game
“Ryan Bowman is available for selection as is Liam Grimshaw. We’ve still got Charles Dunne, Craig Tanner and Liam Donnelly missing, but we have a bigger squad than we did last weekend!”
On whether Rangers’ early season performance / Gerrard is good for the game
“It certainly raises the profile of the league in terms of live matches, publicity and the amount of press it gets. Hopefully, in turn, that brings additional finances into the game, which improves the overall structure of Scottish football that, for me, is very much on the up. If anyone is contributing to that, whether it’s Rangers, Aberdeen or anyone else, then of course we welcome that.”
On the different challenge posed by Rangers after the summer overhaul
“You’ve said it – they have an overhaul so they’ll obviously be a different team with different players. Every manager that comes in has a different way of doing things, different way of playing and a different way to set up, so they’ll be different in that aspect.
“Again, it’s not for me to comment on whether they’ve improved or haven’t improved under previous managers. That’s none of my business as I say Motherwell and winning games is my sole focus and I will concentrate on us without worrying too much about what goes on with anyone else.”
A coffee and a chat with Andy Rose
Wednesday 22 August 2018
Andy Rose is the latest player to join us for a coffee and a chat, as we build up to the weekend game with Rangers.
The midfielder discusses the win over Livingston, going toe-to-toe with the Light Blues and his experiences of taking on Steven Gerrard.
Our interview was filmed at the Windmills Cafe in Motherwell.