MX23RW : Saturday, September 25 03:08:00| >> :600:543687:543687:
Jul 10, 2021 at 3pm UK at The Reigart Stadium
Albion RoversAlbion Rovers
AyrAyr United
Albion Rovers win 4-2 on penalties

Preview: Albion Rovers vs. Ayr United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish League Cup clash between Albion Rovers and Ayr United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Albion Rovers and Ayr United kick off their Scottish League Cup campaigns on Saturday with a South Group E fixture at Cliftonhill Stadium.

The fourth-tier hosts most recently lost to a Rangers youth team 3-1 in a friendly, while Ayr United also fell to a defeat against St Mirren during their pre-season preparations.

Match preview

Opening cup games such as this one provide the perfect setting for giant killings to occur as lower-league teams seek to make the most of their pre-season results, but Albion have not exactly warmed up for this tie in perfect fashion.

Indeed, Brian Reid's side recently took part in the NL Broadwood Cup, during which they lost to eventual winners Clyde before beating Cumbernauld Colts on penalties to take third place in the tournament.

Albion Rovers then tested their mettle against some of Rangers' up-and-coming starlets, but the Scottish champions' proteges were too strong for Reid's side as they ran out 3-1 winners on the day, with Scott Roberts netting the only goal for Albion.

Having finished the 2020-21 Scottish League Cup with only one penalty-shootout win to show for their efforts, the fourth-tier side will be desperate to do themselves proud over the coming weeks, although Reid has affirmed that the tournament will also be used as an extension of his side's pre-season preparations.

Meanwhile, Ayr United seemed set to spring a surprise against St Mirren when Tomi Adeloye opened the scoring, but Jim Goodwin's side soon displayed their Premiership credentials to run out 3-1 winners on the day.

Jay Henderson, Lee Erwin and Kristian Dennis all breached the Honest Men's defence in what was a bitter end to an otherwise strong pre-season campaign for Ayr United, who had claimed victories over The New Saints and Stranraer, as well as a 1-1 draw with newly-promoted Premiership side Hearts.

While Albion Rovers finished bottom of League Cup Group F last term, Ayr United rose to the top of the pile to book their place in the second round of the competition, although they were quickly dispatched 4-0 by Livingston before they could dare to dream any longer.

Nevertheless, the Championship side can take plenty of positives from their pre-season games as David Hopkin prepares for his first full season in the dugout, and Ayr put five past Albion during a resounding win in last season's League Cup.

Albion Rovers form:
  • L
  • W
  • L

Ayr United form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Team News

Albion manager Reid has confirmed that veteran striker Ryan Stevenson is still out for anther couple of weeks with an Achilles issue, while Aldin El-Zubaidi is recovering from a groin operation.

Reid has sung the praises of Charlie Reilly and Max Wright since their summer arrivals, so it would not be a surprise to see both men play a part in Saturday's opener.

Former Barnet man Adeloye took advantage of a defensive mix-up to open the scoring for Ayr against St Mirren, and the 25-year-old is ready to lead the line once more.

New number one Aidan McAdams is also set for his first competitive game for the club after arriving from Greenock Morton, with the 22-year-old boasting experience for both Rangers and Celtic at youth level.

Sean McGinty, Cameron Salkeld and Markus Fjortoft have also arrived from Morton this summer, and Hopkin has insisted that he is prepared to take a punt on some of his younger players in the cup.

Albion Rovers possible starting lineup:
Binnie; Lynas, Fagan, McGowan, Robinson; Roberts, C. Wilson, D. Wilson, Reilly; Wright, Byrne

Ayr United possible starting lineup:
McAdams; Houston, McGinty, Baird, Reading; Salkeld, Murdoch, Chalmers, Ecrepont; Adeloye, McKenzie

SM words green background

We say: Albion Rovers 0-3 Ayr United

Ayr head into Saturday's game hoping to extend their winning streak against Albion to seven matches across all competitions, and we do not expect the hosts to play the party-poopers.

During their six-game winning run, the Championship side have notched up a staggering 20 goals against their fourth-tier hosts, who will not be expecting miracles against Hopkin's side this weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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