Ayrshire derby match preview

Match Preview Ayr United vs. Kilmarnock Betfred Cup Group E Friday 14th July 2017. Kick-off 7.45pm

The 2017/18 Scottish football season kicks-off in style on Friday night with the return of the Ayrshire Derby to Somerset Park. It is eight-and-a-half years since Kilmarnock’s last trip down the A77 to face the Honest Men – and 24 years since their last win on Ayr soil.

Ian McCall’s side returned to full-time training on 19th June and the squad has been boosted by the return of Andy Geggan and fans favourite Michael Moffat. Both will make their second ‘debuts’ for the club. Former Queen of the South skipper Chris Higgins bolsters the defence while six Football Academy players have graduated to the first team squad and could feature.

Lee McCulloch led Kilmarnock to 8th in the Premiership last season after taking over from Lee Clark in mid-February on an interim basis when Clark departed the Rugby Park club to become manager of Bury. The former Motherwell, Wigan and Rangers forward oversaw 4 wins in 14 games before finally being appointed on a permanent basis last month.

Elsewhere in Group E, Peter Murphy’s Annan Athletic travel to face Clyde on Saturday while Ayr’s opponents on Tuesday, Dumbarton, are not in action.

Ian says:”Ideally we would probably have liked this game a week or two later however what a start to the competitive season. There aren’t many places like Somerset when there is 6 or 7 thousand in and the atmosphere tonight will be something special. Training full time has been fantastic and everyone has worked extremely hard. Craig Reid misses the match with a ligament strain and we are targeting the Clyde match to get him back and Alan Forrest has taken a knock that forced him to miss training yesterday so he will be a game time decision.”

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park): Ayr United wins – 27 Draws – 22 Kilmarnock wins – 18

Five of the seven League Cup meetings between Ayr and Killie have been drawn.

Match Officials:

Referee – John Beaton

Assistant Referee 1 – Andrew McWilliam

Assistant Referee 2 – Brian Templeton

Fourth Official – Alan Newlands

 

Match Information:

This is an all-ticket game. Season tickets are not valid.  Ticket Sales will close at 5.45pm on Friday from the Club Shop. Tickets ordered by telephone can be picked up until 7pm.
Full information here: http://www.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/match-information-ayr-v-kilmarnock/
Latest Odds

Ayr – 10/3, Draw 3/1, Killie – 7/10