Motherwell v Hearts: Team news and match preview

Hearts' last away victory came against Motherwell in September. Pic: SNS
Hearts' last away victory came against Motherwell in September. Pic: SNS
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Ian Cathro’s Hearts side go into their Ladbrokes Premiership match against Motherwell at Fir Park on a high after tearing second-placed Rangers apart 4-1 in midweek.

However, the Jambos haven’t won away in the league since the last time they visited Fir Park in October, when goals from Callum Paterson, Arnaud Djoum and an own-goal from Stephen McManus secured a 3-1 victory.

Prince Buaben is out with a groin injury, while Djoum is still in Gabon on international duty with Cameroon after his country reached Sunday’s final of the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this week. Defenders John Souttar and Paterson are both long-term absentees with Achilles and knee injuries respectively.

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee will be without defender Kieran Kennedy and midfielder Jacob Blyth, while Stephen Pearson may be in line for a start after he returned to Well on a free for a third spell at the club on Thursday after leaving Indian Super League side Atlético de Kolkata.

Hearts-top scorer Jamie Walker boasts the best shots-on-target ratio among the top ten scorers in the Premiership, with 65 per cent of his efforts hitting the target, while Motherwell keeper Craig Samson has kept only three clean sheets all season.

Probable Hearts XI (4-4-2): Hamilton; Struna, Hughes, Nowak, Sowah; Cowie, Kitchen, Martin, Walker; Johnsen, Goncalves. Subs from: Noring, Smith, Oshaniwa, Rherras, Avlontis, Tziolis, Beith, Nicholson, Choulay, Currie, Bikey.

Probable Motherwell XI (4-4-1-1): Samson; Tait, McManus, Heneghan, Hammell; Cadden, Lasley, McHugh, Lucas; Clay or Pearson; Moult. Subs from: Griffiths, Bowman, Frear, Jules, McMillan, Chalmers, McLean, Pearson or Clay, Ainsworth.

Referee: Andrew Dallas.

Where and when: Fir Park, Saturday February 4, kick-off 12.15pm, live on BT Sport 1.