Motherwell v Hearts: Line-ups announced, Djoum starts, 3-5-2?

Arnaud Djoum starts for Hearts for the first time since a 1-1 draw with Ross County in February.

Saturday, 15th September 2018, 1:53 pm
Updated Saturday, 15th September 2018, 2:21 pm
Craig Levein hopes to see his side make it five league wins from five at Fir Park.

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Craig Levein, who will be in the stand for the game, has made two changes from the team that defeated St Mirren 4-1 with Ben Garuccio and Steven MacLean making way for the returning Djoum and Callumn Morrison.

There is a place on the bench for new recruit Clevid Dikamona.

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It should see Hearts match Motherwell's 3-5-2 system with Steven Naismith joining Uche Ikpeazu in attack and Michael Smith playing as a third centre-back.

The Fir Park side are without Conor Sammon due his loan agreement from Hearts, while the exciting and vibrant Allan Campbell as shrugged off an injury sustained during Scotland Under-21's 2-1 victory over the Netherlands during the week.

Well are not an unknown quantity. Everyone in the Ladbrokes Premiership knows what to expect from the Steelmen. It comes down to how you deal with their strengths and qualities.

They are unashamedly direct and aggressive and their ethos works so well for them. On their day they are one of the most difficult teams to face, making opponents work for every second on the ball, while winning the second ball is of great importance to whether a team will succeed.

Matching their system should see an early battle with the team with the better quality and composure prevailing..

Ikpeazu bullied St Mirren’s back three in the 4-1 win at Tynecastle in the club’s last outing. His performance and link play with MacLean deserved a goal. However, he is still looking for that consistency. The Englishman struggled against Dunfermline Athletic’s back three in the Betfred Cup. Yet, Motherwell’s robust defensive backline could soon meet their match.

In recent years a criticism of Hearts away from home is slow, ponderous starts. If they are to make it five wins from five in the league they have to be ready from the get-go. They will be required to scrap which means Haring will be key, winning the ball, reacting to loose balls quickest.

Motherwell XI: Trevor Carson; Peter Hartley, Carl McHugh, Tom Aldred; Chris Cadden, Andy Rose, Gael Bigirimana, Allan Campbell, Richard Tait; Danny Johnson, Curtis Main.

Hearts XI: Zdenek Zlamal; Michael Smith, John Souttar, Jimmy Dunne; Callumn Morrison, Peter Haring, Olly Lee, Arnaud Djoum Demetri Mitchell; Uche Ikpeazu, Steven Naismith. Subs: Doyle, Bozanic, Wighton, Garuccio, MacLean, Mulraney, Dikamona