Motherwell made five appearances at Hampden last season and a win at Tynecastle on Wednesday would see a return in next month’s Betfred Cup semi-final.
Hearts came out on top less than a fortnight ago when a controversial goal gave them a narrow win at Fir Park. There was little between the sides on that occasion and Wednesday’s tie promises to be another close encounter.
'Well fans celebrate with tifo
Since that meeting our hosts drew in a goalless meeting with Livingston and ended their winning league run. It seems that they missed the powerful presence of Ikpeazu in attack. The striker apparently injured his foot when he crunched Carson’s ankle in our recent meeting.
Cup meetings at Tynecastle are rare events and we have to go back to February 1964 to find a ‘Well win when Charlie Aitken and Joe McBride helped us to a 2-1 Scottish Cup replay triumph. But last season’s wonder strike from Carl McHugh to send us to Hampden is a reminder that we are capable of delivering a knockout blow.
Stephen Robinson knows that his squad have yet to deliver their best this season and he rarely hesitates to shuffle his team as required. He will have to select an eleven capable of matching up to the physical presence of Levein’s big team but there will be no shortage of volunteers.
It could be that extra-time and penalties will be required to split the sides after a fiercely contested 1-1 after 90 minutes.