Fir Park will host its first league game of the season when Hamilton cross the Clyde for the second round of the SPFL Premiership. Both teams suffered badly on opening day and a fiercely contested affair is expected.
Motherwell will welcome Allan Campbell back to the ranks now that he is free of the suspension that forced him to sit out last week’s match at Easter Road.
The injury to Charles Dunne and the transfer of Cederic Kipré prompted a change to an unfamiliar defensive formation against Hibs. A two goal deficit at the break prompted a return to our usual shape and it is likely that the manager will strive to keep it if personnel allow.
Gael Bigirimana made his first competitive appearance of the season in the second half and his control and passing skills were appreciated by the travelling support. He and Danny Johnson, another second half substitute, will be disappointed if they can’t find a place in the starting eleven.
The need for a new central defender is clear to all and it may be that a late arrival could be given a claret and amber debut.
Hamilton lost their opening contest despite taking the lead against Hearts at New Douglas Park. The 4-1 loss was partially due to “young boys who are learning the game” according to Martin Canning.
Accies have had a big turnaround of players over the summer. The latest additions, a central defender/midfielder Delphin Tshiembe and ‘keeper Jacob Marsden, arrived this week to make a total of 13 imports. There will be a few unrecognised faces in the red and white strips on Saturday.
On paper Motherwell, despite the loss of key players, have the stronger squad but as captain Hartley noted in his interview on the MFC site, “the team that generally wins the battle wins the derby”. Let’s do that and enjoy the first win of the campaign 2-0. a