St Mirren match preview

After their impressive result and performance against Partick Thistle on Saturday, Livi head west to take on Championship rivals St Mirren in their second group match of this season’s Betfred Cup.

The Buddies, winners of this competition in 2013, produced a miraculous escape from relegation to League One last season after Jack Ross succeeded Alex Rae as manager and will now be looking to challenge at the other end of the Championship table this time around.

Let’s look ahead to Tuesday’s clash and take a closer look at our opponents, as we prepare for the first of at least five meetings between the two sides.

What have the Buddies been up to this summer?

After their squad was given a massive overhaul by manager Jack Ross in January, there have been further wholesale changes this summer, with nine further new faces arriving at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.

League Cup-winning keeper Craig Samson has returned to the club and been joined by ex-Hearts striker Gavin Reilly, Cammy Smith (Aberdeen), Jordan Kirkpatrick (Alloa), Gregor Buchanan and two Ross Stewarts (both from Albion Rovers). Ex-Queen of the South man Dale Hilson and former Ross County midfielder Ian McShane have also signed on the dotted line for the Buddies.

On the pitch, they started their pre-season campaign with a few days in the Highlands, enjoying comfortable friendly wins over Clachnacuddin (5-0) and Nairn County (9-0). They returned home to face Premiership side Dundee (who had publicly coveted Saints boss Jack Ross during the summer), slipping to a 3-1 defeat with Gavin Reilly getting their goal. Their final pre-season clash saw manager Ross return to old club Alloa, where they were held to a goalless draw, before their first competitive match on Saturday.

How did they get on in their first group match?

After an early scare, it turned out to be a comfortable afternoon’s work against League One Stranraer at Stair Park. Former Buddie Scott Agnew gave the underdogs an 11th-minute lead but two goals in the space of four minutes from Gavin Reilly and Ross Stewart turned the game on its head. Lewis Morgan struck a third just before the break before Gregor Buchanan sealed the win early in the second half.

The result puts the Buddies top of the fledgling Group H table, a point ahead of Livi after they picked up a bonus point against Thistle.

What happened last time?

As it happens, the two sides actually met in last season’s Betfred Cup group stage and it turned out be a thriller as the Saints ran out 3-2 winners at the Tony Macaroni Arena. After David Clarkson had given the Buddies the lead, goals from Nicky Cadden and Dale Carrick turned the match around, only for it to flip again as Clarkson scored a screamer to equalise before Lewis Morgan’s fortuitous late winner.

This will be the eleventh meeting of the two sides, with the head-to-head records showing little to choose between them. Livi have won four clashes with St Mirren coming out on top in five. There has been just one draw, the very first meeting of the two sides ending in a 1-1 draw at Love Street in October 1999.

Fun fact – in the ten previous meetings, there hasn’t been a single home win. Hopefully that remains the case after Tuesday night’s match!

How do the bookies see the match going?

Tournament sponsors Betfred make St Mirren comfortable favourites to win tomorrow night at 4/5. Livi are 3/1 to claim the victory with the draw available at 11/4. If you fancy a repeat of the 4-1 victory the Lions enjoyed on their last trip to Paisley, that’s 80/1.

St Mirren are the new favourites to top Group H at 13/10 after their emphatic opening victory. Partick Thistle are now second favourites after their slip-up against Livi at 13/8. Livi’s odds to qualify have shortened since their bonus-point success over the Jags and they can now be backed at 10/3 to reach the knockout stages.

What will it cost to get in to the match?

Gate prices have been confirmed as £12 for adults and £6 for concessions (children/over-65s/full-time students/disabled). Carers will be admitted free where proof is provided.

Tickets do not need to be purchased in advance.

How do I get there?

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be no supporters’ bus to the match on Tuesday night. Alternative methods of transport are:

By car: Follow the M8 westbound before exiting at Junction 28 then take the first exit at the top of the sliproad onto the A726 (Greenock Road). At the traffic lights, turn right and double back on to McFarlane Street then take the first right on to Greenhill Road. The ground is on your right hand side. Visit www.stmirren.com/club/about-st-mirren/the-paisley-2021-stadium for details on parking in the area.

By rail: The nearest station to the ground is Paisley St James, which is only a few minutes’ walk away. The station is served by trains from Glasgow Central towards Gourock. Onward connections to/from West Lothian are available from both Central and Queen Street stations.

Look forward to seeing you there to cheer on the boys!

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