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Match Preview: Stranraer v St Mirren

The 2017/18 season gets underway for St Mirren tomorrow as they travel to Stranraer in the first match of Group H in the Betfred Cup. 

It's the first competitive match for Saints following last season's dramatic end, with Ladbrokes Championship survival confirmed on the final day. 

A 1-1 draw with Hibernian was enough to see the Buddies avoid a relegation play-off spot and end the campaign in seventh place.

St Mirren's cup form was a bright spot in what was a difficult season with the side reaching the IRN-BRU Cup final and the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup last season.

However, the Buddies narrowly failed to qualify from the Betfred Cup groups on goal difference. Wins over Livingston, Ayr United and Edinburgh City saw the St Mirren finish with nine points, but it was United who progressed ahead of the Saints by virtue of being one goal better off.

Like Saints, Stranraer also finished third in a tough group that contained Premiership sides Rangers and Motherwell. 

Pre-season for Jack Ross' side has saw emphatic wins over Inverness Clachnacuddin and Nairn County, while there was a 3-1 defeat to Dundee at the Paisley 2021 Stadium before a goalless draw against Alloa last weekend. 

Tomorrow's hosts also won two, drew one and lost won with victories over Larne and Partick Thistle, a draw with Dumbarton and defeat to Dutch side FC Twente. 

The manager has been busy in the transfer market with new signing Ian McShane, who officially put pen to paper on a two-year deal yesterday, in line to feature against the League One side. 

Jordan Kirkpatrick, Ross Stewart, Ross Stewart, Gavin Reilly, Dale Hilson, Gregor Buchanan, Cammy Smith and Craig Samson have also joined the Buddies this summer. 

Hilson is set to miss out for Saints due to injury, but the rest could be set for their St Mirren debuts tomorrow. Josh Todd is ruled out due to a dislocated shoulder, while Kyle Magennis and Adam Eckersley both remain out. 

Saints will come up against a few familiar faces with David Barron and Scott Agnew part of the Stranraer squad. The Blues' Kyle Turner - the son of ex-St Mirren captain Tommy Turner - also spent time in the St Mirren youth academy. 

St Mirren finished the 2016/17 campaign on a high and the memory of the 1-1 draw at Easter Road that secured survival is sure to live on in the memories of Saints supporters for a long time.

There's a feeling of excitement around the Buddies and a win tomorrow would be the perfect way to get things underway for the season ahead.

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