Rangers kick off their Scottish Premier League season with a trip to Fir Park to take on Motherwell.
Motherwell spent most of last season fighting a relegation battle but two wins from their last three games pulled them away from the bottom two.
Defence was their main problem, with only bottom of the table Inverness CT conceding more, and that led to them suffering the most defeats of the twelve top-flight teams.
This season, they will hope to improve on those defensive problems and keep themselves clear of the relegation zone.
The new domestic season has started well for them, with four wins from their four Scottish League Cup matches to finish top of their group. A big positive was only conceding two goals in those four games, although they will face much better opposition during the league campaign.
A poor start to 2017 cost Rangers last season, with them finishing third in the table behind Celtic and Aberdeen.
Scoring goals was their problem, with only 56 scored in their 38 games. That’s 18 less than Aberdeen, and a massive 50 goals less than Celtic.
Their competitive season started back on 29th June, with a UEFA Europa League qualifier against Progres Niederkorn from Luxembourg. It was a tie they were predicted to win easily, against a team who had never won in twelve previous European matches.
However, things didn’t go to plan. A poor 1-0 first leg victory was followed by a 2-0 defeat as they went out of the competition at the first hurdle.
That poor performance hampered preparations and will have affected team morale, despite a few friendly victories.
Head to Head
Rangers have a clear advantage over Motherwell when it comes to their head to head.
Motherwell’s last victory over Rangers came in December 2002. They are currently on a win-less run of 43 consecutive meetings, and that 2002 victory is their only one in the last 51 meetings.
In their 43-match run without a win, they have managed to pick up just ten draws.
They met five times in all competition last season, with Rangers winning four. The most recent meeting was a 1-1 draw this past April.
Betting Odds and Predictions
Rangers are the betting favourites for this match, priced at 4/6 with Coral. Motherwell are 17/4, and the draw is priced at 29/10.
Although Rangers have been dominant over Motherwell, we can’t help thinking the home team could surprise a few people here.
They have already played four competitive matches, with four wins which can build momentum heading into a new season. Rangers have suffered the embarrassment of being dumped out of Europe by a relatively unknown team and they have only been playing friendlies recently.
Therefore, we suggest punters who are going to back Rangers should use the Draw No Bet market for a little security. Rangers are priced at lower odds of 1/4 but Motherwell are more than capable of picking up a share of the spoils here. In fact, they are capable of picking up a shock victory although we are not going to predict it happening.
Three of the five meetings last season had two goals apiece, whilst the other two each had three goals. Percentages suggest this match will have Under 2.5 Goals, which is priced at 1/1 with Coral. However, we think Under 3.5 Goals is an even better bet at slightly lower odds of 2/5.
Another market of interest for many is Both Teams to Score, and stats would suggest that both teams will not score in this match. In the past twelve meetings, both teams have scored just four times, with at least one team failing to score in the other eight.
‘No’ in the Both Teams to Score market is 1/1 and well worth a punt.
Top Betting Tip
Our top betting tip for this match is Under 3.5 Goals, priced at 2/5 with Coral.