SPL – 19th February 2013 – KO 7.45pm
Second place Motherwell host nineth placed Dundee Utd in the SPL tonight in a fixture that you would normally say pitches two evenly matched teams together and I certainly believe that is the case.
I’m happy to ignore league positions as the Scottish Premier has been a bit “tit for tat” between the rest of the teams bar Celtic and Dundee this season. The bookmakers have given the edge to Motherwell understandably with home advantage and are available at 11/10 (Coral), with Dundee Utd price at 13/5 (BetVictor) for the away win and a Draw being similarly priced at 13/5 (Bet365). However, this is not a market that interest me as to be honest no result would ultimately surprise me greatly!
Motherwell have been quietly going about their business this year and now find themselves up into 2nd place after a slow start which I think had to do with the distraction caused by their small foray in Europe at the beginning of the season.
Manager McCall has been quick to quash excitement as he knows a couple of bad games could see Motherwell plumet back down the league. The players will be full of confidence though with a superb 3-0 win over Inverness at the weekend, making them unbeaten in their last 4 games at home.
Another boost comes with the return of former Scotland international James McFadden for a second spell at the club, although I imagine he may only be in a postion to come off the bench tonight. Captain Lasley and Kerr are out tonight through suspension but Ramsden is available after recovering from a suspected hand fracture.
Dundee Utd will be looking to put last weekends 6-2 defeat at Celtic Park behind them which saw them drop 3 places in the league. To be fair though they did meet a wounded Celtic team who simply played very well on the day.
This was new manager Jackie McNamara’s first defeat since he’s been in charge but I reckon apart from the obvious defensive frailties, he can take some positives away from a match in which they scored twice and even missed a penalty. The leaky defence is starting to become a real issue though and certainly wont be helped with an injury to Gavin Gunning that may see him out for the rest of the season.
On that note, goals is the angle that I’m looking for in this match and I’m pretty sure we should see them as the stats are there to back them up.
Motherwell’s last 6 out 6 homes games have gone over 2.5 goals together with the fact that Dundee Utd’s last 9 out of 9 away matches have gone over 2.5 goals! Indeed if you look at just Dundee Utd, in their last 17 matches (home & away) 15 of them have gone over 2.5 goals.
For some reason Ladbrokes have set their price for OVER 2.5 GOALS much higher than their competitors at 4/5 and I’m happy to have a piece of that! There will be sufficient striking talent on the pitch in Higdon, Ojamaa, Mackay-Steven, Russell and Daly to cover the over 2.5 goals comfortably in my opinion. Lets just hope that McNamara has not had the time to do much defensive coaching on the United back four.
For people that like to back an anytime scorer Michael Higdon at 11/8 (BetVictor) is the standout, he has scored 8 goals in his last 6 home games for Motherwell and is clearly bang on form.
As far as the result goes, as I said early, it could go either way and to be honest I don’t care!
OVER 2.5 Goals @ 4/5 (Ladbrokes)