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Partick Thistle v Motherwell – 29th December 2013

Thistle bring a memorable 2013 to a close with the visit of Motherwell to Firhill on Sunday December 29th. The two teams met back in August at Fir Park, with the home side running out 1-0 winners, but Sunday’s game represents Motherwell’s first visit to Firhill since December 2003 when a John Paul McBride goal gave Thistle a 1-0 victory. That win represented Thistle’s first of that particular season and with the current Thistle side still without a league win at home this season it’s to be hoped that that win ten years ago is a good omen.
Collecting maximum points against a side who made it three wins on a row with an impressive win at Aberdeen on Boxing Day is unlikely to be easy but although only a point was secured against Inverness; then, like Motherwell now, second  in the league, confidence must be taken from a positive performance in that match.

[link:HOME] caught up with manager Alan Archibald after the final training session before the game and he is more than aware of the tough challenge that Motherwell will present on Sunday.
“Motherwell are a very good side. You need to give credit to Stuart McCall and the job that he has done. He lost players at the end of last season but he’s just gone out and replaced them. They had a couple of bad results a few weeks ago and those results disguise just how well they’ve been playing this season. They’ve bounced back from those results in any case and had an excellent win on Boxing Day at Aberdeen. We know that we will have to be on our game to get three points tomorrow.”
Alan continued;
“Motherwell carry a real threat especially with John Sutton and the lad Anier but the really pleasing thing for us from the Inverness game was the fact that we kept a clean sheet in and in doing so kept a very good striker quiet. Hopefully we can do the same tomorrow. Finishing off the year with a win at home would be the icing on the cake in what has been an excellent year for us.”
Going into the game the manager has only one fresh selection worry as he reveals.
“Jordan McMillan is unwell and he’ll miss out. He came off against Inverness at half-time complaining of feeling something in his chest and he missed training today. We are fortunate that Stephen O’Donnell is available again and got 45 minutes under his belt in the Inverness  match.”
Alan continued;
“Gary Fraser is still suspended and Isaac Osbourne and Sean Welsh are obviously still injured otherwise everyone else is available for the game. Isaac still has some swelling on his ankle and he’ll have an operation on the ankle. Sean saw a specialist on Monday and he put a time scale of 4 weeks from then until he will be back.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
0              2              3              3              8
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Doolan 7
Aaron Muirhead 4
Steven Lawless 3
Christie Elliott 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Ross Forbes 1
Kallum Higginbotham 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Thursday December 26th 2013
Partick Thistle 0, Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0
Motherwell Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              0              2              6              7
Scorers Season 2013-2014
John Sutton 8
Henri Anier 7
Lionel Ainsworth 3
Robert McHugh 2
Shaun Hutchinson 1
James McFadden 1
Stephen McManus 1
Craig Moore 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Thursday December 26th 2013
Aberdeen 0, Motherwell 1
Last Meeting
Scottish Premiership
Saturday August 24th 2013
Motherwell 1, Partick Thistle 0
Motherwell: Hollis, Hammell, Ramsden, Hutchinson, McManus, McFadden, Sutton, Lasley, Francis-Angol (Vigurs), Carswell (Lawson), Anier (Kerr).
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Taylor-Sinclair, Osbourne (Forbes), Muirhead, Balatoni, Fraser (Higginbotham), Bannigan, Craigen, Lawless, Doolan (Baird).
Motherwell: Sutton (20)
Crowd: 5,527

Match Details
Scottish Premiership
Sunday December 29th 2013
Partick Thistle v Motherwell
Kick-off: 3pm
Admission Prices
Match Officials
Referee: Steven McLean
Assistant Referees: Alan Mulvanny and Raymond Whyte
Fourth Official: John Beaton
Other Premiership Fixtures
Aberdeen v Ross County
Hibernian v Kilmarnock
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Celtic
St Johnstone v Dundee United
St Mirren v Hearts

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