Motherwell drawn to face Rangers in League Cup

Rangers' Kane Hemmings and Motherwell's Simon Ramsden
Rangers' Kane Hemmings and Motherwell's Simon Ramsden

Motherwell have been drawn to face Rangers in the third round of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

Raith Rovers, who beat Ross County in the previous round, face a trip to Celtic.

Stenhousemuir have a home tie against Inverness Caledonian Thistle after knocking out holders Kilmarnock in round two.

And Queen of the South face Dundee United at Palmerston, while Queen's Park travel to St Johnstone.

Despite being from Bishop Auckland in the North-East of England, Motherwell defender Simon Ramsden admits there is a family affection with Rangers but says there will be no split loyalties on the night at Ibrox.

"Me and my dad have been to a few Old Firm games and my dad does like Rangers, but I'm his son and, at the end of the day, he'll be 100 per cent behind me and wanting Motherwell to win on the night," he told BBC Scotland.

Rangers go into the game as a Third Division side after financial problems led to them dropping out of the Scottish Premier League.

"Obviously there's going to be a lot of excitement about the game with Rangers drawing an SPL side after all that's gone on there," said Ramsden.

"The lads will be looking forward to going to Ibrox and putting on a good show.

"In previous seasons, we'd go there as the underdog, wheras now the onus is probably on us as the SPL side to go there and show what we're about.

Joe Ledley's Celtic will take on Grant Anderson and his Raith Rovers colleagues
Joe Ledley's Celtic will take on Grant Anderson and his Raith Rovers colleagues

"We've started the season very well, so there's no reason why we can't go there with confidence.

"Other teams have taken points off Rangers, but they've still got a very good squad and we know we're going to be in for a tough night."

Celtic, Dundee United, Hearts, Motherwell and St Johnstone enter the tournament in round three because of their involvement in European competition.

However, top-flight sides Hibernian, Dundee, Ross County and holder Kilmarnock have already been knocked out of the competition and Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley was pleased to have been given home advantage.

"It's a fantastic draw for us and we are just delighted to be at home," he said.

"We haven't been at home for a while in the cups, so we are happy with the draw.

"It's not going to be an easy game, so we will just go out there and play our football and hopefully get the result.

"We played a couple of teams away from home last year and it was difficult for us, so we are happy we got that home draw and we hope it's an advantage for us.

"Raith Rovers are going to be up for it and will make it difficult for us. It gives them an opportunity to play in front of a good crowd, in a good stadium and on a good pitch.

"It will be a hard game, so hopefully we can have all our players fit for it and put a strong team out. We will have to be ready straight from the off."

Ledley believes most Celtic fans were hoping to be paired with Rangers, but his side were the first name out of the hat, with their Old Firm rivals drawn immediately after the First Division side.

"I think most of the fans wanted to see that," he added.

"As players, we will take anyone. It was close but not close enough.

"If we win, maybe we will see them in the next round or the next cup."

St Mirren striker Steven Thompson was confident his side could overcome Accies but told BBC Scotland: "We played them last year in the Scottish Cup and they took us to a replay."

Third-round draw for Scottish Communities League Cup

Celtic v Raith Rovers

Rangers v Motherwell

St Mirren v Hamilton Academical

Queen of the South v Dundee United

Hearts v Livingston

Dunfermline Athletic v Aberdeen

St Johnstone v Queen's Park

Stenhousemuir v Inverness Caledonian Thistle