'Saturday doesn't exactly promise much': Journalists' predictions for Hearts v Motherwell
Our online team try their best to predict the outcome from Saturday's match as Motherwell visit Tynecastle to face Hearts in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Mark Atkinson: Critical period for Hearts and their manager Craig Levein. I reckon a poor September will be impossible to recover from. However, Levein has spent the past two weeks working on Hearts' defensive shape as they try to stem the flow of cheap goals against them and I do think they'll be more solid than in previous outings. Moreover, Motherwell are the only team of note Hearts have defeated this season and they never really match up well with the Jambos at Tynecastle, often because the two play similar types of football. I actually think Hearts might edge this, but it won't be pretty. Prediction: Narrow Hearts win.
Joel Sked: Waiting for Hearts to win a league game is beginning to feel like when you are waiting at the airport and every time someone comes on the tannoy it is to announce that your flight is delayed further to the point you lose all expectation. The good news for Levein's men, however, is that they have already defeated Motherwell this campaign with their best performance of the season in the Betfred Cup. If they can find that level of performance without potentially six first-team starters the Tynecastle side will pick up their first three points of the season. Yet, two of the most winnable home games the team will get they have managed to scrape two points. There is not a lot of trust in this team to win games. Draw.
Anthony Brown: Hearts should beat Motherwell on the dual basis that they have significantly better individual players than them and also defeated them pretty comfortably at Fir Park a month ago. However, the games played by the two sides in the intervening period (notably Hearts’ home draw with Hamilton and Motherwell’s back-to-back wins before the break) would suggest this is unlikely to be a straightforward afternoon for the hosts. Prediction: Draw
Patrick McPartlin: Fixtures between Hearts and Motherwell at Tynecastle tend to be cagey, tight affairs, with last season's six-goal thriller in the League Cup something of an outlier. I don't see this match being any different, despite Motherwell's early form and Hearts' less-than-impressive home record. Levein has been working on his side's defensive qualities over the international break and it'll be interesting to see what effect this has on his team's performance. Both teams are capable of scoring, but could cancel each other out. However, I think Hearts might just edge this one. Prediction: Narrow Hearts win
Neil McGlade: Tynecastle used to be a fortress. Now any side, including the Sunday Edinburgh amateur leagues, would fancy their chances of leaving Gorgie will all three points such is the adversity whenever Hearts are on home soil. It's not unrealistic to think that the Jambos could have been approaching this weekend's visit of Motherwell without a point to their name given the wretched displays against Ross County and Hamilton Accies. From a fans' perspective you'd like to think Levein has taken stock of the frailties that have engulfed his side so far this term and will turn to Plan B. However, I too have my reservations. Motherwell are improving week by week so I'm predicting another uncomfortable afternoon is on the cards for Levein and his under-performing squad. Prediction: Draw