Hearts make their second trip of the season to Fir Park on Saturday.
Having been victorious in the Betfred Cup earlier in the campaign against Motherwell, their season hasn’t gone to plan so far.
The story so far
This year has been a difficult for the Tynecastle side. They have managed just three home victories in the league and only 26 points from their 27 Premiership fixtures.
Cup competitions have provided some respite, with runs to the Scottish Cup final where they were edged out 2-1 by Celtic and the last four of the Betfred Cup in which they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Rangers.
The departure of Craig Levein as manager on 31 October saw them go a full month without a replacement, with Austin MacPhee still in temporary charge at the time of writing.
Steven MacLean’s late equaliser against Livingston helped Hearts avoid a third successive Scottish Premiership defeat on Wednesday night.
With one win in their last five and three defeats, their last win on the road in the league came against Hibernian in late September.
Three to watch
Northern Irish international Michael Smith visits Fir Park this afternoon, holding fond memories of his last encounter with the Steelmen in North Lanarkshire.
Smith blasted home a stunning opener in Hearts’ 2-1 Betfred Cup victory back in August, his only goal for the Jambos so far this season.
Despite not adding to his goal tally for his club, Smith clearly has a fondness for scoring brilliant goals and last month he was at it again when his superbly hit low drive found the bottom corner of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s net as Northern Ireland took the lead against Germany.
Unfortunately it was to be the solitary highlight for Michael O’Neill’s side, as they would eventually go on to lose the match 6-1.
After playing an important role in Aston Villa’s promotion back to the Premier League, Glenn Whelan’s 16 years in English football came to an end.
The midfielder has played the majority of his career in the top flight of English football, playing in the Premier League for nine of his ten years at Stoke City in which he played over 300 times for the Potters.
Whelan joined Hearts in August and quickly emphasised that he intended on making a big impact. So far this season he has made 13 appearances in maroon as well as four outings for the Republic of Ireland, moving him on to 91 caps for his country.
It’s been a frustrating season so far for Steven Naismith, who has found his game time restricted by injuries.
Naismith returned from a long-term knee injury before a hamstring problem ruled him out of action again. Given his influence on and off the park, there’s little doubt that Hearts have missed the presence of a player that many consider their key man and to date he has only managed 90 minutes in the league on three occasions, scoring two goals.
The striker recently took his place in the Scottish FA Hall of Fame after earning his 50th cap for Scotland in the 2-1 victory over Cyprus and he marked cap 51 with a goal in the win over Kazakhstan at Hampden.
Get your tickets in advance
Tickets are available online now or from the Fir Park ticket office.
|Adult||£24 / £20|
|Over 60s / 16-18s / full-time students||£17 / £16|
|One adult and two kids||£28 / £24|
Cheaper price applies to John Hunter stand for home supporters.
Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Andy Sim on 07428 225254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can’t make it? Watch or listen live
If you’re outside the UK/Ireland, you can watch Motherwell v Hearts and the majority of our Ladbrokes Premiership games this season on our live streaming service.
Priced at £12 a month, just head to tv.motherwellfc.co.uk to subscribe.