Preview: Ross County vs. Motherwell – prediction, team news, lineups

Motherwell make the trip to the Global Energy Stadium on Monday evening looking to build on their third-placed finish in the Scottish Premiership last season.

Meanwhile, Ross County head into the opener eager to make a positive start after ending the shortened campaign in 10th position.

Match preview

Preview: Ross County vs. Motherwell - prediction, team news, lineups

With third place the best that they could realistically hope for last season, Motherwell had few complaints when the decision was made to curtail the campaign after 30 matches.

Not only did it mean that they remained ahead of Aberdeen by just 0.03 on the points-per-game ratio, Europa League football was also secured without having to fend off fifth-placed Livingston.

Having earned the club’s best finish since the 2014-15 season, Stephen Robinson is now tasked with trying to replicate that achievement, while also closing the gap to Celtic and Rangers.

Priority will be on the first of those targets, and having been given the freedom to make seven additions during the off-season will leave Robinson optimistic that the Steelman can enjoy another productive year.

From Ross County’s perspective, they will be focused on simply remaining in the top flight with the coronavirus pandemic having a detrimental effect on finances in Scottish football.

Like the visitors, the Staggies would have had no issues when the powers-that-be opted to prematurely call a halt to last season as they sat close to the relegation zone.

After the turn of the year, County had lost seven of their 11 matches in all competitions, including three of their last five in the top flight.

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Stuart Kettlewell, now in sole charge of the team after previously working alongside Steve Ferguson, will hope that he can stamp his own mark on a squad which features five new faces, including that of former Liverpool defender Connor Randall.

Ross County form: DDL

Motherwell form: WLLD

Team News

Preview: Ross County vs. Motherwell - prediction, team news, lineups

Despite the arrival of Wigan Athletic forward Callum Lang on loan earlier this week, the youngster is expected to be named among Motherwell’s replacements.

However, fellow summer additions Ricki Lamie and Jake Hastie are likely to take their place in the starting lineup.

County boss Kettelwell is unlikely to waste any time in playing his own fresh faces, with Randall lining up at right-back and Carl Tremarco on the opposite flank.

Stephen Kelly, the 20-year-old midfielder on loan from Rangers, may have to wait for his opportunity after impressing in the Championship last season with Ayr United.

Ross County possible starting lineup:
Laidlaw; Randall, Donaldson, Burke, Tremarco; Vigurs; Charles-Cook, Draper, Paton; Erwin, Shaw

Motherwell possible starting lineup:
Carson; Grimshaw, McGinley, Gallagher, Lamie; Donnelly, Campbell; Hastie, Turnbull, Polworth; Long

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