Motherwell 2-1 Heart of Midlothian
Sunday 17th February 2019, KO 12:15 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Fir Park
Just when the injury crisis seemed to be coming to an end, Michael Smith and Demetri Mitchell picked up injuries that will rule them out until at least April.
Smith suffered a torn thigh against Auchinleck Talbot and Mitchell has suffered a recurrence of the knee injury that kept him out for months last season.
Peter Haring (hernia) and Craig Wighton (ankle) have both returned to training with the first-team squad and the former is in contention for a spot on the bench.
Marcus Godinho has recovered from a midweek illness and Jamie Brandon is back in training following a small set-back on his return from an ACL operation.
Motherwell are without January signing Ross McCormack (calf strain) whilst Tom Aldred (ankle) is a major doubt.
Chris Cadden returned to light training this week after he ripped his patella tendon in early December and this match will come too early for him.
Shot-stopper Trevor Carson has been ruled out for the rest of the season with DVT (deep vein thrombosis), whilst Craig Tanner (knee) continues to miss out alongside Christian Mbulu (hamstring). Conor Sammon will miss out as he is ineligible against his parent club.
The Jambos are on a good run of form going into this one, winning six of their last eight games.
After a slightly disappointing 0-0, Craig Levein's side skipped over the banana skin that was Auchinleck Talbot, dispatching the Junior side 4-0 in the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup.
Motherwell are also in strong form having only lost once in 2019 so far. That was to Ross County in the Scottish Cup in early January and since then they have won four on the trot.
They've coasted past Hibs, Dundee, Livingston and St Mirren, keeping three clean sheets in the process.
The run of form has lifted them away from any play-off talk and up to seventh in the table, four points behind St Johnstone.
Head to Head
The Jambos have a 100% record over Motherwell in their three fixtures against them this season.
The first clash was the first league meeting at Fir Park, which finished 1-0 after a Steven Naismith strike.
Then, eleven days later, they met in the League Cup quarter-finals at Tynecastle, where the Jambos needed to late goals to record a 4-2 victory.
In December the Jambos ended a seven-match winless streak by beating 'Well 1-0 at Tynecastle thanks to a Peter Haring header.
Looking further back, Hearts have won seven of the last ten matches between the two sides and haven't lost to the Steelmen since last season's Scottish Cup Quarter-Final, where a late Carl McHugh volley won it for Stephen Robinson's men.