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Jul 10, 2021 at 3pm UK
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Preview: Stranraer vs. Greenock Morton - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Stranraer vs. Greenock Morton - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish League Cup clash between Stranraer and Greenock Morton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Stranraer take on Greenock Morton in the Scottish League Cup on Saturday, with two divisions separating the two clubs.

The hosts finished fourth in League Two last season, with Morton narrowly avoiding relegation to League One after beating Airdrieonians in the playoff final.

Match preview

Having been relegated from League One in 2019 after eight consecutive seasons in the third tier, Stranraer will be hoping to earn promotion this campaign having lost to Dumbarton in the playoffs in May.

Jamie Hamill has replaced Stephen Farrell in the Blues' dugout after his predecessor departed the club for promoted Dumbarton in May, with the 34-year-old embarking on his first role in management alongside still being signed on as a player at the club.

How often Hamill will pick himself to compete on the pitch remains to be seen, although he only featured twice in the league last season in any case, with player-managers a rare breed indeed in the modern game.

Two friendly defeats to Raith Rovers and Queen of the South has not been the ideal start for Hamill, with Morton set to provide another very stern test in the League Cup on Saturday.

Morton's six-year stay in the Championship almost came to an end last season, although having finished seven points above bottom-placed Alloa Athletic, automatic relegation was never a realistic concern.

Gus MacPherson has been kept in charge as manager having dispatched Airdrieonians 4-0 on aggregate to ensure the Ton's survival, with the 52-year-old only taking over in March.

Only four new signings have come through the door so far this summer, suggesting it could be another tough season for Morton.

However, three games unbeaten in pre-season friendlies should stand them in good stead against a side two divisions below them on Saturday, with MacPherson's side likely to view the trip to Stranraer as must win considering fellow Championship side Kilmarnock are also in their group.

Team News

Hamill has brought eight players into the club so far this summer at a total expense of over £100,000, which is no mean amount of money for a club in the fourth tier of Scotland.

The bulk of that outlay has been on three youngsters from Kilmarnock, including Curtis Lyle, who is likely to start in goal against Morton.

Morton have also signed a goalkeeper themselves in recent days in the shape of Jack Hamilton from Dundee, who should also make his first start for the club on Saturday.

MacPherson has an extremely small squad at his disposal at the moment, so he will be keen to avoid burnout in the League Cup ahead of the league season beginning at the end of July.

Stranraer possible starting lineup:
Lyle; McIntosh, Ross, Robertson, Burns; Millar, Gallagher; Moore, Walker, Yates; Rennie

Greenock Morton possible starting lineup:
Hamilton; Ledger, Russell, McLean, Strapp; Lyon, Jacobs, Blues; Oliver, Ugwu, Muirhead

We say: Stranraer 2-1 Greenock Morton

We can envisage an upset occurring on Saturday, with Stranraer making some impressive signings in the summer transfer window.

Morton have failed to add as many players as MacPherson would probably have liked so far after a difficult season last time out, so the club's priority may be on avoiding relegation once again rather than progressing in the League Cup.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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