MX23RW : Sunday, September 19 19:10:40| >> :120:42772:42772:
Aug 1, 2021 at 4.30pm UK at Fir Park
MotherwellMotherwell
2-3
HibernianHibernian
van Veen (12'), Mugabi (29')
Carroll (22'), Slattery (31'), van Veen (55'), O'Donnell (69'), Kelly (70')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Magennis (17'), Doidge (56'), Boyle (70' pen.)
Hanlon (48'), Stevenson (59'), Porteous (76')

Preview: Motherwell vs. Hibernian - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Scottish Premiership clash between Motherwell and Hibernian, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Following a third-placed finish last season, Hibernian will kick their Scottish Premiership campaign off on Sunday, as they make the trip to take on Motherwell.

They will come in with confidence having already defeated FC Santa Coloma over two legs in Europa Conference League Qualifying, while their hosts progressed through the Scottish League Cup group stage with relative ease.


Match preview

Hibernian manager Jack Ross pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Motherwell endured a difficult campaign last year, as they ended in the relegation group when the Scottish Premiership was split in half for the second phase.

They did look set to finish the season in style, recording three straight league victories, but a draw with Dundee United and a defeat to Ross County on the final day saw them drop behind St Mirren to finish second in the relegation group and eighth overall.

While they did end level on points with both St Mirren and Livingston at the bottom of the championship group, their ultimate aim this season will be to break into the top six, after finishing third when the 2019-20 season was prematurely brought to an end.

The Steelmen's preparations for the league season did go fairly well, as they topped their Scottish League cup group with nine points thanks to wins over Queen's Park, Queen of the South and Annan Athletic, with the victory against Annan coming after a defeat to Airdrieonians.

Graham Alexander's side bounced back thanks to goals from Justin Nwogu and Barry Maguire, seeing them take top spot and book a second-round tie with Dundee.

For now, their attention will turn to a tough opening league game on Sunday, as they take on one of the sides that will likely stand in their way in their bid to finish in the top six.

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

Hibernian will look to kickstart their season with a victory in their pursuit of another top-three finish after an impressive campaign last year.

With Rangers and Celtic occupying the top two spots, Hibs found themselves in a battle for third place for the majority of the season, and a 1-0 win over Aberdeen, their closest competition, late in the season saw them move clear and hold onto third spot for the remainder of the campaign.

As a result, they earned a spot in the qualifying phase for the Europa Conference League, entering in the second qualifying round against Andorran outfit FC Santa Coloma.

Jack Ross's side would pick up a 3-0 victory in the home leg thanks to a Martin Boyle brace and a goal from Kevin Nisbet, with a 2-1 second-leg win seeing them come out as dominant victors on aggregate, with Jamie Murphy and Daniel MacKay getting on the scoresheet to settle their nerves immediately after their opponents had reduced the deficit to two goals.

That victory saw Hibs progress to the final qualifying round with relative ease, and Croatian side Rijeka stand between them and the group stage.

For now, though, Ross's men will turn their attention to the league as they aim to start on the front foot with a victory to kick off the season.

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

Hibernian form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W



Team News

Hibernian's Martin Boyle pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Graham Alexander has brought about major changes to his Motherwell squd over the summer, adding players all over the pitch with the likes of defender Darragh O'Connor and midfielder Callum Slattery coming through the door.

The attacking line has also been bolstered with the additions of Kaiyne Woolery and Justin Amaluzor, with both players likely to start in the wide areas.

Alexander may opt to deploy them in a front three, although the presence of talented forwards Tony Watt and Kevin van Veen could trigger a more attacking system with two strikers and two threatening wingers.

Hibernian boast an exciting squad, with Kevin Nisbet expected to lead the line after going to Euro 2020 with the Scottish national team.

Martin Boyle will also offer plenty of attacking threat from the wide areas, while exciting prospect Ryan Porteous should star at the heart of the back four.

Motherwell possible starting lineup:
Kenny; O'Donnell, O'Connor, Lamie, Carroll; Woolery, Slattery, Maguire, Amaluzor; Watt, Van Veen

Hibernian possible starting lineup:
Macey; McGinn, Porteous, Hanlon, Doig; Gogic, Newell; Boyle, Allan, MacKay; Nisbet


SM words green background

We say: Motherwell 1-3 Hibernian

In their bid to get off to a strong start and establish themselves at the top end of the top flight, we see Jack Ross's men recoding a fairly routine victory on Sunday.

With the added confidence of a continental win, they should have more than enough to get past this Motherwell side.



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: Motherwell vs Hibernian

Motherwell
35.9%
Draw
15.4%
Hibernian
48.7%
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Graham Alexander, now in charge of Motherwell, pictured in September 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers6411115613
2Hibernian6330126612
3Hearts633095412
4Motherwell632196311
5Dundee UnitedDundee Utd631234-110
6Celtic6303164129
7Aberdeen62226608
8St Johnstone613234-16
9Livingston611439-64
10St Mirren6042512-74
11Ross County6033513-83
12Dundee6033412-83

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