'A real chance they'll be dominated physically': Journalists' predictions for Motherwell v Hibs
Our online team give their predictions as Hibs look to return to winning ways in the Ladbrokes Premiership in Saturday's trip to Lanarkshire.
Mark Atkinson: On recent evidence, it's hard to make a case for Hibs at Fir Park. There are issues in midfield and defence and an aggravated fans base. Conversely, Motherwell are well-organised, pulling in the right direction and have the physical ballast to knock Hibs off their stride. Liam Donnelly will probably score in what could be an uncomfortable afternoon for the visitors. Prediction: Motherwell win.
Joel Sked: This is a hard game to predict without knowing what sort of team Paul Heckingbottom fields. If it is the 4-4-2 which lined up against St Johnstone the Hibees won't be walking away with three points from Fir Park. Against the Saints, Hibs were far too static, too one-dimensional, too mediocre - both on the pitch and in the technical area. There is a good XI at Easter Road, one which is more than capable of turning up at Fir Park and picking up three points. Florian Kamberi staying is a huge boost and Heckingbottom needs to get Scott Allan playing close to him.They will also need to compete and be aware in the midfield. Allan Campbell has the capacity to throw players around the pitch, aided by Liam Polworth and Donnelly. It will likely be a difficult afternoon. Prediction: Narrow loss.
Anthony Brown: Hibs haven’t been playing well so far this season but Paul Heckingbottom still hasn’t lost a single match against any side outwith last term’s top four since taking over as head coach in February. Results-wise, Motherwell’s form has been no better than that of Hibs this season but, given the negativity around the Edinburgh side at present, the travelling support will understandably be wary of the possibility of a repeat of the grim performance their team produced on their last trip to Fir Park in January, which proved to be Neil Lennon’s last match in charge. If the visitors apply themselves properly, however, they should leave with at least a point. Prediction: Motherwell 1 Hibs 1
Neil McGlade: It’s been a difficult week for Heckingbottom. His comments following the disappointing draw with St Johnstone didn’t sit well with supporters where he proportioned some of the blame in their direction. Hibs aren’t reaching the heights expected and look low in confidence despite having lost just the once this season. Allan must be deployed in the No.10 role if the Easter Road men are to have any chance of taking the points against a Motherwell side who are growing in confidence by the week. Prediction: Draw.
Craig Fowler: I can't help but think this will be a complete mismatch in the midfield area. Whatever three of Scott Allan, Stevie Mallan, Vykintas Slivka and Josh Vela that Paul Heckingbottom decides to go with - as new signing Melker Hallberg will be unlikely to feature - then there's a very real chance they'll be dominated physically by the rough-and-ready Motherwell trio of Allan Campbell, Liam Donnelly and Liam Polworth. The visitors will have to completely outplay in their area to avoid getting into a battle, and with the way Hibs are playing at the moment it's hard to have much faith in them doing so. Prediction: Home win