These two sides kick off their new campaign on Saturday, as they kick off in the Scottish League Cup. Ross County are warming up for a return to the Premiership, but they’re getting back in action against lower-tier opposition. Montrose are still rooted in League One, so there is quite the gulf between these two sides. However, the Staggies will be looking to secure the points early on, building up a bit of momentum for their return to the top flight next month.
Ross County were impressive in the Championship last term, taking the title after dropping down the previous season. Their brief spell outside of the top flight has allowed the club to change, but will they be able to use that to kick on as they head for a crucial campaign? The battle for survival in the Premiership will be a hard-fought affair – a fight which the Staggies lost in 2018. There’s plenty of pressure on them as they warm-up for the new season, but at least the hosts can fall back on a great record in this competition.
The same can’t be said for Montrose, who have lost to nil in seven of their last eight away League Cup games. This is their toughest match of the group given that poor travelling return, while they picked up the vast majority of their points last season at home. They scored just 41% of their total goals on the road, while suffering plenty of setbacks on their travels. Now Montrose head into this trip as the outsiders following a poor streak on their travels in the League Cup, but will they be able to turn that run around?
The visitors were beaten in 10 of their 18 away trips in League One last term. That means they lost 56% of their away games in the third tier, while Ross County had the strongest home record in the second. They scored 1.8 goals per game, conceding 0.5 in return. Given that the hosts have won four of their last six games here to nil in this competition, they are unsurprisingly being backed to dispatch of Montrose.
The visitors have conceded 23 goals across their last eight games in this competition, while they are unlikely to be able to keep things tight against a team on their way back to the Premiership. They’ve struggled against Ross County in recent years, as the Staggies have won all of the last five meetings between these two. Not only have they managed that, but they’ve won them 17-2 on aggregate. That includes a 3-1 home win in the Scottish Cup and a 6-0 away win in this competition in 2017. We see Ross County winning this by at least two goals, so we’re backing the hosts with a -1 handicap.
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