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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Scottish Premiership clash between Motherwell and Ross County, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ross County need just a point from their final day trip to Motherwell to confirm survival in the Scottish Premiership.

The Staggies are currently 10th in the table, three points ahead of Kilmarnock who travel to Hamilton Academical. However they have a considerably worse goal difference than the East Ayrshire outfit.


Match preview

Ross County's Billy Mckay after sustaining an injury in September 2020© Reuters

If Ross County were to lose on Sunday and Killie won at New Douglas Park, it would be John Hughes's side facing a playoff against Dundee to maintain their top flight status.

Going into the league split, County were just two points off the bottom of the table, but they have picked up seven points from a possible 12 in the Relegation group; only Sunday's hosts Motherwell have more.

On Wednesday night they came from behind to win 2-1 against Hamilton courtesy of strikes just outside of the box from Blair Spittal and Charlie Lakin.

Following a 2-0 triumph over Dundee United, three points at Victoria Park made it back-to-back league victories for the Staggies for the first time since the opening two weekends of the season.

No side has conceded more goals in the Scottish Premiership than County in 2020/21, while only Dundee United have scored fewer. If anything is to cost them safety, it will be their goal difference.

Motherwell are unbeaten in four games since the league split, but that record was only just kept intact on Wednesday night as Devante Cole scored a stoppage-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Dundee United.

The Well had trailed 2-0 at halftime, but the point kept them seventh and they can now finish no lower than eighth.

While it has been a disappointing campaign after their third place finish in 2019/20, Graham Alexander has done well to turn the club's fortunes around as they were joint-bottom when he replaced Stephen Robinson in January.

Motherwell have won their last three home matches, the last time they won four successive games at Fir Park was December 2019.

Ross County have only won one of the last five meetings between these two sides, a 1-0 triumph on the opening day of this season. Both encounters since then have ended in victory for Motherwell.

Motherwell Scottish Premiership form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Motherwell form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D

Ross County Scottish Premiership form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Ross County form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W



Team News

Graham Alexander, now in charge of Motherwell, pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Allan Campbell was forced off just six minutes into Motherwell's game against Dundee United on Wednesday with a twisted ankle, so he is a doubt for this match.

Robbie Crawford would be the obvious replacement in the centre of midfield, although Mark O'Hara is also available.

Club captain Declan Gallagher was dropped in midweek, perhaps with his summer move to Aberdeen in mind. Graham Alexander may decide to give the 30-year-old a send off or stick with Blackburn Rovers loanee Tyler Magloire in the centre of defence.

John Hughes has named the same starting XI for Ross County's past two victories, so is likely to stick with an unchanged team once again.

After coming off the bench to score the winning goal in midweek against Hamilton, Charlie Lakin is pushing for his first start since the league split.

Blair Spittal scored his first goal of the season in Ross County colours on Wednesday night and Hughes has been delighted with the winger's response after returning from a loan spell with Scottish League One side Partick Thistle in January.

Motherwell possible starting lineup:
Kelly; O'Donnell, Magloire, Lamie, McGinley; Foley, Lawless, Crawford; Hastie, Cole, Long

Ross County possible starting lineup:
Laidlaw; Naismith, Donaldson, Iacovitti, Hjelde; Tillson, Vigurs, Kelly; Spittal, White, Gardyne


SM words green background

We say: Motherwell 1-1 Ross County

County seem to have built momentum at just the right time and they have put themselves in a strong position to secure safety. We think they will get the point they need; Motherwell are not easy opposition but the game certainly does not mean as much to Graham Alexander's men.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Motherwell vs Ross County

Motherwell
50.0%
Draw
14.3%
Ross County
35.7%
14
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General view of Fir Park, home of Motherwell, from November 2011
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Aberdeen00000000
2Celtic00000000
3Dundee00000000
4Dundee UnitedDundee Utd00000000
5Hearts00000000
6Hibernian00000000
7Livingston00000000
8Motherwell00000000
9RangersRangers00000000
10Ross County00000000
11St Johnstone00000000
12St Mirren00000000

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