Next up - Aberdeen in the League Cup
The League Cup has not been paraded in Motherwell since 1950. If we are to see its return this season then we have to beat Aberdeen at Fir Park on Wednesday evening.
Since the Dons lost to Ross County at the beginning of the month their wins against Dundee United and Hibs have moved them up the table and with the help of our insipid performance in Perth they are now installed in second place in the table. Many view them as naturals for the runners up spot, often referring to the supposed ‘quality of their squad’, yet Motherwell remain as the bookies’ favourites to win the League Cup.
Motherwell enjoyed a long spell of top dog dominance over Aberdeen but the tide has turned a bit in recent meetings. They knocked us out of the Scottish Cup in the last two campaigns and they won the league encounter earlier this season. The South Stand will have around 2,000 visiting fans and the sensible pricing (£12/£6) should also encourage a few more to come to the home stands to see referee John Beaton get the game underway.
Motherwell players were already talking of the need to win this tie before they left McDiarmid Park. There was a feeling that they let themselves and their fans down and they are grateful to have the chance of a quick recovery. There’s no doubt that winning a place in the semi final would be a boost but that applies equally to Aberdeen. There’s every prospect of a fiercely fought cup tie.
It’s certain that we’ll have several changes to the starting line up. Anier, Ainsworth, Francis-Angol and Kerr were on the bench in Perth and at least two will be given a chance face the opposition from the kick off. Neilsen will likely be forgiven his costly slip and no doubt more attention will be given to the most appropriate footwear for the conditions.
There will be no opportunity for a second chance and extra time and penalties will be available if needed. It promises to be an exciting night under the floodlights and if we can regain the advantage that should come from playing on our own turf then we may well be able to anticipate a semi final following a 2-1 win.
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