Rangers v Motherwell Wednesday 7.15pm (BBC live)
It’s Rangers v Motherwell in the third round of the Scottish Communities Cup. That’s the banal title of the Scottish League Cup. Apparently the competition is supposed to unite disparate communities across Scotland. When has football ever done that?
The SPL leaders visit a team in the bottom tier of Scottish professional football. But we now inhabit some sort of alternate reality in which the SPL leaders are Motherwell and the bottom feeders are Glasgow Rangers.
It’s fitting that high-flying Motherwell are representing the SPL in this battle to progress in the league cup. A battle that is so much more about pride than getting to the next stage of a domestic cup competition.
All the onus is on Rangers. For pride, and self respect, for the furtherance of their own brand as the paramount force in Scottish football; they’ve gotta win.
Meanwhile favourites Motherwell are seeking their first win at Ibrox since 1997. That’s the year Diana died, and Tony Blair was elected Prime Minister in a wave of public adulation, to place it in context. So that’s donkeys ago.
And Motherwell have never been better placed to win at Ibrox. Despite giving away a two goal advantage at the weekend to Aberdeen; they go into this game with confidence.
Of course it helps they have the in form striker in Scottish football. Michael Higdon has already hit seven this year and he will be difficult to supplant as the top SPL scorer this season.
Much of Motherwell’s recent success can be placed at the feet of Stuart McCall. Including their recent tilt at Champions League qualification. A goal that was ultimately beyond their grasp.
Motherwell and Rangers’ recent status could not be further apart. Motherwell were knocked out of the Champions League this season. Last week Rangers exited the Ramsdens Cup to Queen of the South.
They haven’t exactly acclimatised to their new position. So this one’s for pride.
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