Killie’s record at Rugby Park this season has been a cause of some concern for boss Gary Locke and he will be hoping to continue to turn things around with the visit of Motherwell.
His side have been beaten in three of the six home fixtures they’ve played so far this season and they’ve conceded 13 times to boot, giving them the worst defensive record on their own turf in the Ladbroke’s Premiership.
But Motherwell haven’t travelled well either and they’ve lost 4 of their six games on the road – though a weekend draw at Aberdeen with give Steelmen boss Mark McGhee’s side a boost ahead of the trip.
The Kilmarnock player’s confidence will be high following a 2-1 win at Dundee and they will be keen to put on a show in front of their home fans after the recent defeat of Inverness Caley Thistle in their own backyard.
With four wins from their last six games, Killie are the form team going into the fixture and they’ll be looking to provide plenty of service to six–goal hit-man Josh Magennis.
Motherwell have been bolstered by the effects of a new leader in the dug-out in the shape of the experienced McGhee, whose short reign has seen a narrow defeat at leaders Celtic and the point at second-placed Dons in his first two games.
So you can throw the Steelmen’s previous form book out of the window as the new regime will have brought a freshness and determination to impress to the side and they’ve had a number of players return from injury in recent weeks.
Motherwell have won the last three meetings between the two clubs and with McGhee demanding to see some desire and character from his side – he simply wrote Yes or No on the board in the dressing room at Pittodrie and asked his players to provide the answer on the pitch – and he’ll be looking for more of the same at Rugby Park.
Neither side has been forced to reshuffle by suspensions or new injuries so any changes will be purely tactical and McGhee may look to exploit those defensive frailties by opting for a more attack-minded display in the fixture. But he’ll have to keep in mind that Killie were impressive at Dens Park for long periods of the game.
Locke will charge his side with getting a handle on Motherwell’s Scott McDonald and Louis Moult, who provide the main goal threat, in what could prove to be an open and entertaining game with both sides looking to get the points that would move them up the table. Moult set his targets on a 20-goal return this season when he signed from Wrexham in the summer and he’s already put five in the back of the net so far.
Kilmarnock keeper Oliver Davies, on-loan from Swansea City, is due to return soon following his knee injury while Motherwell’s Craig Reid and Stevie Hammell could both also return from the treatment table imminently following knee and groin problems respectively.
Kilmarnock Stats W4 D3 L5
Recent form WLLDWW
Motherwell Stats W3 D2 L7
Recent form LLWLLD
Head to Head record
29/08/2015 Motherwell 1 Kilmarnock 0
08/05/2015 Motherwell 3 Kilmarnock 1
04/04/2015 Kilmarnock 1 Motherwell 2
07/03/2015 Motherwell 1 Kilmarnock 1
23/08/2014 Kilmarnock 2 Motherwell 0
Kilmarnock (4-2-3-1) –MacDonald, O’Hara, Findlay, Balatoni, McHattie, Smith, Slater, McKenzie, Kiltie, Higginbotham, Magennis.
Motherwell (4-4-2) – Ripley, Law, McManus, Kennedy, Chalmers, Grimshaw, Lasley, Pearson, Johnson, Moult, Fletcher.
Injury List/Suspended Players
Kilmarnock– Chris Johnston (inj), Dale Carrick (inj), Oliver Davies (inj).
Motherwell– Craig Reid (inj), Stevie Hammell (inj).