Killies To Be Dropped At The Well
Motherwell v Killmarnock
Motherwell have only three matches remaining to avoid a playoff and guarantee their Scottish top flight status for next season with Kilmarnock their next opponents on Friday in what looks to be a must-win game for the hosts at Fir Park.
It’s now three games without a victory for the Well although they did manage to stop the rot of successive defeats with a 1-1 draw with Ross County last Saturday when Scott McDonald gave them a lead on 19 minutes that was cancelled out Liam Boyce just before half-time.
That made it five unbeaten on home soil, a run which includes 5-0 and 4-0 destructions of St Mirren and Hamilton although they remain six points adrift of Ross County and the safety of tenth place in the table with a goal difference of eight to make up on County to boot.
John Sutton is the top scorer for Ian Baraclough’s side this season with 11 goals, all of them coming in the league although he hasn’t now scored in three games since grabbing a brace in the hammering of St Mirren in early April.
Kilmarnock have been in freefall for the best part of two months having lost their last six Scottish Premier League games despite scoring in each of those games as a result of conceding at least twice in each of those losses and 15 in total over that period of time.
Manager Gary Locke lamented his side’s sloppiness at the back following their 3-2 defeat to Hamilton at the weekend when Lee Ashcroft and Greg Kilite scored either side of conceding three times at Rugby Park to leave Killie ninth in the division. They’re not guaranteed survival as of yet though, lying six points ahead of Motherwell but with an eleven goal cushion on Friday’s opponents on goal difference while only Baraclough’s side have picked up fewer points away from home this season.
Temitopye Obdeyi is his side’s leading scorer this season despite scoring only seven times, and he hasn’t found the net in six games since scoring against the Well back in March.
Sutton is expected to have to make do with a place on the bench for the Steelmen, young defender Louis Lang is still sidelined through injury with Baraclough likely to keep faith with the same starting XI once more.
Obdeyi is doubtful again after missing out on last weekend’s defeat to Hamilton while Kiltie is expected to feature from the start having scored from the bench at the weekend in what could result in a change in formation from Gary Locke.
Head to Head
Each side has won, lost and drawn in the three clashes between the teams this season with Motherwell winning the most recent meeting 2-1 early last month.
Both sides have scored in three of the last four encounters and six of the past nine.
The Well look a great price at odds against of 5/4 to get a win here considering their recent home results and their opponents’ struggles of late although the 3/4 on both teams to score for a seventh game in a row featuring Killie looks nigh on a certainty.
The 10/3 on both side’s scoring in a Motherwell win and Scott McDonald scoring for the hosts at 5/1 or anytime (29/20) look well priced for value.