The League Cup, Skol Cup, CIS Cup and Coca Cola Cup have been an absolute nightmare for Celtic down the years other than the second half of the sixties and one glorious autumn afternoon in 57. Tonight the old trophy comes back dressed up as the Betfred Cup.
Rodgers will be well aware of the stats and the boost that winning a bogey tournament in the autumn can provide for the whole season.
There’s a reasonable argument to make that the cup ties are the most important domestic fixtures of the season, a semi-final defeat from Ross County or Sevco will be recalled much more frequently than any SPFL defeat.
As well as taking a step towards a domestic trophy tonight’s match is the last competitive outing before facing Hapoel Beer Sheva with match time essential for a number of players- especially the new signings.
The tone of the match will be set in the first ten minutes. In previous cup ties it hasn’t taken long for supporters to realise that the players aren’t with it- starting at the right tempo, putting Motherwell on the back foot will ensure a stress free night and a place in the draw for the last eight.