Until a reversal at Tannadice on Wednesday, Hibernian were the form team in Scotland. They had collected 12 out of 12 points since August, scoring seven and conceding once. They also secured a draw at home to Newco, the effect of which you still see in the two-point gap at the top of the league table. They will present a far greater test than Motherwell did on their recent arresting visit to Celtic Park.
There would have been no shortage of soul searching at Lennoxtown since Tuesday’s defeat to Leipzig. Waves of chances conceded with those created all missed. We have a squad who are not performing anywhere near the standard they reached as recently as last month.
Without his captain and Portuguese fulcrum, Ange Postecoglou has to fortify the team with energy and creativity. This will be hampered by the knock to Liel Abada. Alexandro Bernabei was forced into an unaccustomed left wing position on Tuesday; I expect to see him there again tomorrow, for at least part of the game.
Ange will also have an eye on balancing squad energy with important games ahead, including Motherwell away on League Cup duty on Wednesday. We could do with an early and commanding lead tomorrow, to give the manager plenty of scope to rest limbs and minds.