Motherwell V St Johnstone at Fir Park Stadium : Match Preview

31 December 2013 03:31
Motherwell V St Johnstone - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hutchinson back for Well

Motherwell are boosted by the return of Shaun Hutchinson for their Scottish Premiership game against St Johnstone.

The defender missed the weekend win over Partick through suspension but is back in contention for the visit of the Perth side.

Boss Stuart McCall has no fresh injuries ahead of the New Year's Day clash at Fir Park.

James McFadden has set his sights on rediscovering his top form in the second half of the season after making a triumphant return to action for Motherwell.

The forward was recalled to the starting line-up at the weekend for the first time since a shock William Hill Scottish Cup exit to Albion Rovers on November 30.

And the Scotland international made the most of the opportunity by helping himself to a goal, and setting up another, as the Steelmen claimed an emphatic 5-1 victory over Partick Thistle.

McFadden said: "I've got to take small steps and hopefully get back to what I know I'm capable of.

"It was good to be involved and to play in what was a good game for us.

"Hopefully I can kick on and make the most of it.

"I felt better, it's the best I've felt this season, to get a goal and have a hand in another goal.

"I enjoyed it. I think that's the main thing, I had fun playing in the game. It's something I've not done for a while.

"I've been waiting for my chance to get involved again and I was delighted just to be playing. I was also happy with the result.

"Like any player, you are not going to be delighted not to be playing but the team has been playing well.

"It's part of the game, you have to wait for your chance and grab it when it comes."

St Johnstone midfielder Patrick Cregg starts a two-game ban.

The Irishman was handed the punishment after he failed to overturn his red card against Hibernian.

Skipper Dave Mackay, meanwhile, remains a doubt after missing the 3-0 win over Dundee United on Sunday with a calf strain.

McCall's side were beaten 2-0 when they last met at McDiarmid in October and goalkeeper Alan Mannus is aiming for a repeat display when they meet at Fir Park on Wednesday.

"The last time we played Motherwell it was a good performance," he said. "When we are good, we can be very good and there were signs of that against Dundee United and in the second half against Celtic on Boxing Day.

"We've kept two clean sheets in our last three games, one of which was against Hibs when were down to 10 men for the majority of the game.

"It's important we try and keep that run going and score a few more goals."

Source: PA