Changing fortunes have visited both clubs in recent seasons. Motherwell have enjoyed a series of top half finishes and regular European competition while the financial shambles at Tynecastle has produced a side burdened with a 15 point handicap as the league began.Motherwell v Hearts November 2012
The upshot is that Motherwell are 23 points ahead of the young Hearts team and odds on favourites for the win. A measure of our opponent's troubles is that they have only one away win to their credit in the last year - and none this season.
Motherwell's steady improvement came to an abrupt halt at Parkhead a fortnight ago and we'll be looking for a return to form this weekend. Preparation for the game was delayed by the international commitments (McCall and Hammell with Scotland, Kerr with the U21s, Anier with Estonia and Neilsen with the Faroes) but the gap offered time for niggling injuries to heal. In particular, McFadden will have benefited as he continues to search for the spark that delivered so much toward the end of last season.
Scotland's U21s had three players from Hearts involved in the recent double header (McGhee, Holt and Paterson) and that's an indication that the visiting squad is not short of talent. Backed by a big vocal support they have overcome their lack of experience with a determination to claw back the deficit but they suffered a big blow last outing when St Mirren beat them. Still, they are now just the ten points behind Kilmarnock.
If we play near our best the win should be safe but we'll have to be aware that a team already in a relegation battle will pounce on any careless moments. Let's look forward to a wee celebration on Saturday evening as we raise our glasses to a 2-0 win.
Remember the last time Hearts were at Fir Park?