Hibernian V Motherwell at Easter Road Stadium : Match Preview

14 December 2012 06:01
Hibernian V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hibs duo could return

Midfielder Gary Deegan and captain James McPake could return for Hibernian in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Motherwell.

Deegan has been absent since early October with a fractured jaw and defender McPake has not played since early November due to a back injury.

Defender Tim Clancy, meanwhile, is a week to 10 days away from a return from his groin problem.

Midfielder Gary Deegan is aiming to hit the ground running for Hibs.

Deegan suffered a fractured jaw in an alleged assault outside an Edinburgh nightclub in early October while celebrating the win over Dundee. A 27-year-old man was this week charged with assault.

The 24-year-old had made quite an impression since his summer arrival from Coventry and, following the enforced absence, he hopes to resume where he left off if given an opportunity in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match against Well at Easter Road.

"I'm buzzing to be back in the team," Deegan said.

"It's what I love doing every day and I'm really excited to be back on Saturday.

"I thought I was doing reasonably well and getting some consistency into my game. I want to pick up where I left off.

"It's been nine weeks now, but I was told I could do full contact after six.

"It's given me a good three weeks of conditioning, training with the lads and full contact. I'm there or thereabouts."

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall has revealed Nicky Law has a good chance of returning.

The midfielder missed Tuesday`s cup defeat by Aberdeen with an ankle injury but took part in the majority of training today and is eager to play at Easter Road.

Defender Steven Saunders is the only absentee as he continues his comeback from knee surgery.

Left-back Stevie Hammell admits their William Hill Scottish Cup defeat by Aberdeen was all the more painful because it could help spell the end of an era at Fir Park.

But Hammell hopes pushing for another European adventure could help retain some of the players who are out of contract at the end of the season.

Motherwell were denied a fifth-round trip to face Hibernian at Easter Road, where they play on Clydesdale Bank Premier League duty, and the chance to emulate their run to the final in 2011 when they lost 2-1 in a Fir Park replay on Tuesday.

The financial blow has given manager Stuart McCall less chance of holding on to the likes of Nicky Law, Darren Randolph and Jamie Murphy in the long term.

Hammell said: "I don`t think it heaped pressure on us but we were aware of it.

"It`s well documented, the gaffer even came out and said it, a cup run would help financially to keep some of the boys.

"I think that was another reason why it was disappointing to go out the cup, because I think this will be the last season that this group of players will be together.

"It`s a strong group, one of the best teams I`ve played with, and at the end of this season, or maybe even sooner, that team might not be together, so it would have been nice to finish with a trip to Hampden. But it wasn`t to be."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 0 1 0 0 1
Panama 0 1 0 0 1
Tunisa 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0
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