To say Hibs boss Pat Fenlon is a man under pressure would be an understatement. The Irishman didn’t exactly have the Easter Road faithful on side anyway after his side struggled for significant chunks of last season and things went from bad to worse just over a week ago as the Hibees suffered an embarrassing 7-0 Europa League thumping at home to Malmo.
To some, it’s a surprise that the Irishman is still in a job and indeed he’s BetVictor’s even money favourite to be the first Premiership gaffer given the boot this term but as Hibs get their domestic campaign under way against Motherwell today, Fenlon will be hoping his team, at odds of 21/10 with bet365, can silence a few doubters. Don’t bank on it.
The Steelmen lost plenty of players over the summer, including Michael Higdon but Stuart McCall has recruited well and his troops look primed to secure the runners-up spot behind Celtic for the second consecutive season. They can start as they mean to go on today too, BetVictor pricing them at 11/8 to pile more misery on their beleaguered opponents and Stan James rating them at 19/5 in the handicaps when kicking off a goal in arrears.
Hibs’ defending in Europe bordered on farcical and as this fixture has recently had a tendency to generate plenty of goals, a high-scoring encounter is on the cards. William Hill go 10/11 about the clash producing three or more goals but it’s worth pushing the boat out and combining that tally with a ‘Well success at odds of 11/4 courtesy of bet365.
As the Hibees could find scoring tough without Leigh Griffiths, the attacking threat looks to be with the visitors and James McFadden in particular has the potential to make an impact. The talented front man has endured a frustrating few years but has a full pre-season under his belt and is set for a productive season. At 6/1 (bet365) he’s the stand out first scorer pick and while Paddy Power mark 9/4 against McFadden finding the net at any stage.