The Scottish Premiership heads into its second matchday on Saturday. Two teams that will hope to do better on matchday 2 than on opening day are Motherwell and Dundee United. Neither side ended day No. 1 in the Scottish Premiership with wins. However, Dundee United will be the happier of the two clubs heading into Saturday.
Dundee United claimed a 1-1 draw against St. Johnstone. Nicky Clark’s sixth-minute penalty put the Tangerines up a goal but St. Johnstone battled back in the second period to claim a goal through Liam Craig. Still, Dundee United did just come up from the Scottish Championship and will be happy with their point on opening day.
Motherwell had to wait for Monday to kick off their season. That game ended in a surprise loss to Ross County away from home. Motherwell were also victim to a penalty. Ross County’s Ross Stewart converted a 24th minute penalty to give them a win and send Motherwell to defeat.
Now, with Motherwell needing a win to keep pace with the teams in the Premiership’s top six, they host Dundee United on Saturday.
As two of Scotland’s more historic clubs, Motherwell and Dundee United have a long history against one another. The two clubs last met in July for a preseason friendly. Motherwell claimed a 1-0 win in that game through a second half goal from Jordan White.
Motherwell won four of their last seven games against Dundee United in all competitions. Between 2016 and this campaign, however, the two sides were in different divisions. Motherwell finished the Scottish Premiership 2018-19 season in fourth place qualifying for the Europa League second qualifying round. If Stephen Robinson’s team do not start winning games, they could struggle even more when the Europa League begins later this season.
After spending four seasons in the Scottish Championship, Dundee United earned promotion back to the Premiership. The Tangerines are one of the famous sides in Scottish football and their exile in the second division was difficult time period for fans.
Dundee United manager Micky Mellon started the season strongly after taking over the team in the summer. He joined the club following Tranmere Rovers’ relegation to League Two. Mellon’s decision to join Dundee United allows him to coach in Scotland for the first time.
Although Motherwell lost 1-0 to Ross County on opening day, it wasn’t as if they struggled to get goal scoring opportunities. Forward Chris Long hit the woodwork in the first half and the attack had other chances to score. Motherwell tallied 15 shots which was the third most of any Premiership team on opening weekend.
Robinson will be without forward Callum Lang after he was sent off against Ross County. He will now miss the game on Saturday. Robinson is also without Charles Dunne and Jake Carroll. The duo is suffering from injuries and should be back at some point this month.
Dundee United calculated 16 shots in their first game, the second most in the Premiership behind Celtic. They also claimed 57.1% possession in the game versus St. Johnstone. Mellon’s side put in a good shift and should finish the season around midtable if they can keep playing the same way as on opening day.
Mellon doesn’t have any injury issues heading into the weekend. It should be noted that Dundee United won just once in preseason. The victory came against a Ranger’s ‘B’ team. The good news is they gained two draws and a win in the preseason which led to their stalemate with St. Johnston at the weekend.
Chris Long to score anytime - BET NOW
Motherwell striker Chris Long was very active early in the game versus Dundee United and hit the woodwork in the first half. Long was the most likely of any Motherwell players to get a goal. Long scored seven goals in 25 games last season helping Motherwell finish third in the division. The 25-year-old bounced around the lower divisions in England before landing at Motherwell last season. He should continue to play well for them and get on the scoresheet.
Both teams to score - BET NOW
Dundee United saw both teams score goals on matchday 1. Motherwell looked likely of getting a goal and finishing on level terms versus Ross County but came up just late. Now, they need to get on goals and get points. Motherwell did claim a 1-0 win in preseason against Dundee United but may see their regular season match end with both teams finding the back of the net.
Motherwell to win either half - BET NOW
Motherwell claimed a win in preseason against Dundee United and will feel confident of getting another victory over their rival. Mother well brought in six players in the offseason on permanent deals or loans. Robinson has a good squad in place but one that couldn’t get in high gear on opening day. On-loan Wigan striker Callum Lang will miss the game through suspension leaving Robinson with one less striker to choose from. Still, The Well have enough to win the fixture and get off the mark.
In the build-up to the game, Dundee United signed former Blackpool centre-back Ryan Edwards. The 26-year-old became the club’s third signing of the summer. According to Mellon, Edwards has long been a defender he has admired.
Dundee United were pegged back by 10-men St. Johnstone on matchday 1. They must learn to hold onto leads and keep opposing teams from cutting through their rearguard. Saturday’s game could see Dundee United once again give up a goal. For as good as the Terror were against St. Johnstone, they should come up against a team that is stronger.
Motherwell should get a result (draw or win) and get off the mark on Saturday. Robinson’s side shouldn’t fire blanks for a second weekend in a row and get on the scoresheet.
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The Motherwell vs Dundee United match will be played at Fir Park.
The match between Motherwell and Dundee United kicks-off at 15:00 on Saturday 8th August