Four games into the season and Kilmarnock’s search for a Scottish Premiership win continues as they take on in-form Motherwell on Saturday.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best online sportsbooks, we can see that the sportsbooks are having a tough time weighing up this game. Kilmarnock are considered favorites, by a small margin, at around +150, while Motherwell, who have made a good start to the season, are rated at +161. The draw is the underdog result of the three, priced at +235.
|Kilmarnock v Motherwell|
Kilmarnock Looking for a Win
After a slow start to their Championship campaign last season, Kilmarnock appointed former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes and his experienced leadership helped them to clinch the division and return to the Premiership, where a new challenge faces them.
Twelve players left the club in the summer, so it is effectively a new team that McInnes is guiding through these initial weeks of the Premiership season, and his players have faced some early challenges.
A draw against Dundee United in their opener was a solid result, and nobody expected them to get anything from the games against Rangers and Celtic that followed, but they then suffered a disappointing defeat against Ross County in which they conceded a late goal despite having a one-man advantage.
The result is that they go into this weekend’s round of Premiership fixtures still looking for their first win with tough away games against Hearts in the League Cup and Hibs in the Premiership to follow.
Good Start for Motherwell
Although they finished fifth in the Premiership last season, Motherwell have been in terrible form throughout 2022, and a Europa League Conference defeat to Sligo Rovers persuaded the club to dispense with manager Graham Alexander.
And new boss Steven Hammell seems to have found a way to get more out of the team as ‘Well have had a good start to their new Premiership campaign.
An away victory at St Mirren in their opening game gave them something to build on, and they have since won twice more. They beat Aberdeen 3-2 at Pittodrie in an entertaining game in which Kevin van Keen scored the winner, and last weekend Van Keen was again on target, scoring from the penalty spot to beat Livingston 1-0. The result is that Motherwell are now third in the Premiership and, after this game have winnable fixtures against Ross County and Dundee United to look forward to.
SPL Betting Team News
McInnes has to deal with a string of injuries as he prepares his team for this fixture. Winger Jordan Jones had been expected back in training after a thigh injury, but he has reportedly had a setback in his recovery, so won’t be available. Zach Hemming is also still out, along with Jeriel Dorsett and Scott Robinson
With limited depth in the squad, it is unlikely that the manager will make many changes for this one, though one possible switch is Fraser Murray coming into the team at left wing-back in place of Kerr McInroy, although highly regarded loan signing Ben Chrisene may also feature.
The team news is slightly better for Motherwell as they have a shorter injury list going into this game. They still face a problem at left back as both Nathan McGinley and Jake Carroll are out injured, and Carroll is expected to be missing for several months.
Otherwise, they have a relatively healthy squad. Stephen O’Donnell is likely to continue in the left-back position, alongside Ricki Lamie, Paul McGinn, and Sondre Solholm Johansen. Kevin van Veen, who has scored three times in four Premiership games so far, will once again lead the attack for Motherwell, supported by Blair Spittal and Connor Shields.
Scottish Premiership Match Betting Pick
With only four games played, we have to be cautious about drawing too many statistical conclusions from limited evidence, but based on what we’ve seen so far, Kilmarnock face an uphill battle to adjust to the Premiership, and their fans may not be in for much entertainment over the next few weeks.
Kilmarnock have the worst goals-per-shot and goals-per-shot on-target ratios in the division. Some of that is due to the fact that they have played Celtic and Rangers, but their inability to score against Ross County means that they have scored just once so far this season – a late equalizer against Dundee United – and that lack of attacking threat puts huge pressure on the defense.
It is true that Motherwell have a poor recent record on the road against newly promoted teams, having lost all three of these fixtures last season, but that seems like a statistical anomaly rather than a meaningful stat. The Motherwell squad seems rejuvenated under Hammell, and they once again look like a team that can finish in the top five or six, so the best pick here is to back the visitors to earn a win.