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Preview: Hamilton Academical vs. Motherwell - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Scottish Premiership clash between Hamilton Academical and Motherwell, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Basement club Hamilton Academical host Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday evening, hoping for a win which will enable them to climb out of the bottom two for the first time in over a month.

The Accies have claimed three points in only one of their last 13 league matches, while the Steelmen have won three of their last four games in the top flight.


Match preview

Hamilton Academical manager Brian Rice pictured in August 2020© Reuters

Following their third-round exit in the Scottish Cup at the beginning of April, Hamilton lost 1-0 at home to Dundee United just over a week ago.

Marc McNulty's sixth-minute strike was enough to seal a slender victory for the Tangerines and that result leaves Brian Rice's side two points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership.

The last five top-flight seasons have seen Hamilton finish no higher than 10th in the table and with only four games left to play, it is almost certain that they are to remain in the bottom three this campaign.

Finishing in 10th would be enough to survive, although they are currently three points behind Ross County, who they face away from home in three weeks' time.

Wednesday's encounter with Motherwell will be one that the Accies welcome, as they are unbeaten in their last five Scottish Premiership meetings against them, winning each of the last three this campaign by an aggregate scoreline of 8-1.

Hamilton have, however, failed to win any of their last seven league games which is currently the longest winless run in this season's top flight.

Victory in midweek could move Rice's men off the bottom of the table and up to 10th if both Ross County and Kilmarnock were to lose their matches.

Graham Alexander, now in charge of Motherwell, pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Motherwell managed to progress from the fourth round of the Scottish Cup last weekend, but only just as they were forced to penalties by Championship outfit Greenock Morton.

After a goalless 90 minutes, the game came to life in extra time and ended in dramatic fashion as Stephen O'Donnell's 121st-minute strike from outside the area was cancelled out two minutes later by Markus Fjortoft's header from a corner.

However, it was the Premiership side who came out on top, as O'Donnell converted the Steelmen's fifth successful penalty, following Sean McGinty's effort which was saved by Liam Kelly, sending the hosts into the quarter-finals, where they will face Hibernian on Saturday.

Motherwell now turn their focus back to the Scottish Premiership and manager Graham Alexander will feel that one more victory should all but confirm their top-flight status for another season.

The Steelmen have struggled in recent meetings against the Accies but their last win against them was away from home, winning 3-1 in August 2019.

Motherwell finished third in the Scottish Premiership last season and although they can only finish as high as seventh this campaign, securing a win on Wednesday would help them stay on course to match or even better last year's points total of 46.

Hamilton Academical Scottish Premiership form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L

Hamilton Academical form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Motherwell Scottish Premiership form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Motherwell form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W


Team News

Celtic's Ryan Christie in Scottish Premiership action with Hamilton Academical's Shaun Want on August 3, 2020© Reuters

Hamilton remain without winger David Templeton (groin) and midfielder Lewis Smith (hamstring) through injury.

Rice could stick with a back three of Jamie Hamilton, Aaron Martin and Brian Easton, while wing-backs Lee Hodson and Scott McMann are both expected to keep their places in the first XI.

Bruce Anderson started as a lone striker against Dundee United with Kyle Munro playing in behind, but as the Accies have scored only three goals in their last seven matches, Rice may decide to start either Callum Smith or David Moyo in support of Anderson.

For Motherwell, Alexander could make a couple of changes to freshen up his side for Wednesday's match.

Centre-back Bevis Mugabi has not started a game since the 4-1 loss at home to Hamilton in February, but is in contention to feature and could replace either Declan Gallagher or Ricki Lamie in the starting lineup.

Midfielder Mark O'Hara is another player who has not started since that defeat to the Accies and is hoping to earn his place in the first XI ahead of either Robbie Crawford or Barry Maguire.

Goalkeepers Scott Fox and Trevor Carson, as well as Sherwin Seedorf, Liam Donnelly and Charles Dunne remain out with knee injuries, while Liam Grimshaw is hoping to recover from illness to feature in midweek.

Hamilton Academical possible starting lineup:
Fulton; Hamilton, A. Martin, Easton; Hodson, Odoffin, Hughes, McMann; Callachan; Smith, Anderson

Motherwell possible starting lineup:
Kelly; O'Donnell, Gallagher, Lamie, McGinley; Campbell, Crawford, O'Hara; Roberts, Cole, Watt


SM words green background

We say: Hamilton Academical 1-1 Motherwell

Given their recent results against Motherwell, Hamilton will feel that Wednesday's match is a great opportunity to secure three precious points that could see them climb out of the relegation zone.

The Steelmen, however, head into this fixture at the Fountain of Youth Stadium in better form and we feel that they could frustrate the hosts and claim at least a point on the road.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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How you voted: Hamilton vs Motherwell

Hamilton Academical
22.2%
Draw
33.3%
Motherwell
44.4%
18
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Graham Alexander, now in charge of Motherwell, pictured in September 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CRangersRangers33285078106889
2Celtic33209466244269
3Hibernian33168944311356
4Aberdeen331310103231149
5Livingston33128134041-144
6St Johnstone331010133440-640
7St Mirren331010133038-840
8Dundee UnitedDundee Utd33912122943-1439
9Motherwell3398163251-1935
10Ross County3385202659-3329
11Kilmarnock3384213347-1428
12Hamilton AcademicalHamilton3369183160-2927

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