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Preview: Hibernian vs. Kilmarnock - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish Premiership fixture between Hibernian and Kilmarnock, including team news and predicted lineups.

Hibernian and Kilmarnock square off at Easter Road on Saturday afternoon as both teams look to begin the new Scottish Premiership campaign in style.

When the previous season was brought to a halt after 30 games, just four points separated these sides in eighth and seventh respectively.


Match preview

Jack Ross pictured in charge of Sunderland in September 2019© Reuters

After gaining some stability at Hibs with 10 wins and five draws from 22 matches last season, Jack Ross will be determined to build on that over the coming months.

The enforced break came at a time when Hibs had created distance between themselves and the relegation zone, instead threatening to end the regular campaign in the top six.

Nevertheless, there is now the belief that the club can get back challenging for fourth spot, the position which they achieved as recently as 2017-18.

Although there has been some upheaval with regards to players, this is now Ross's squad, and there can be few excuses if they do not deliver during the coming weeks.

Despite having only won four of his 15 matches in caretaker charge, Alex Dyer has been provided with a two-year contract at Kilmarnock.

Given his lack of experience in the dugout's most senior role, club officials have taken a calculated risk, but the 54-year-old has been able to bring in half-a-dozen new signings.

That is a show of faith from the powers-that-be, and there will be an understanding that an opening double-header against Hibs and Celtic represents a tough start to the campaign.

With just three pre-season games under their belt, Kilmarnock must be regarded as underdogs heading into this contest, but that may be a scenario which Dyer relishes as he bids to get the club back into the top half of the standings.

Hibernian form: DDWDL

Kilmarnock form: WLD


Team News

Scotland assistant manager Alex Dyer pictured in September 2019© Reuters

Ross could hand immediate debuts to new signings Alex Gogic and Kevin Nisbet, who have arrived from Hamilton Academical and Dunfermline respectively.

However, Drey Wright may have to make do with a place among the replacements after his transfer from St Johnstone.

Meanwhile, Kilmarnock boss Dyer will almost certainly hand a start to goalkeeper Danny Rogers after his successful trial period during pre-season.

However, after undergoing surgery last week, Gary Dicker will be on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.

Eamonn Brophy is expected to get the nod ahead of Nicke Kabamba in attack.

Hibernian possible starting lineup:
Marciano; McGinn, Porteous, Hanlon; Boyle, Mallan, Gogic, Stevenson; Allan; Doidge, Nisbet

Kilmarnock possible starting lineup:
Rogers; McGowan, Broadfoot, Findlay, Haunstrup; Makrini, Power; McKenzie, Burke, Kiltie; Brophy


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Hibernian 2-1 Kilmarnock

Based on their efforts last season, we can only predicted a closely-fought encounter this weekend. However, despite a lack of home supporters, Hibs may have enough in the tank to get over the line by the odd goal in three.


ID:408381:

Who will win Saturday's Scottish Premiership clash between Hibernian and Kilmarnock?

Hibernian
Draw
Kilmarnock
Hibernian
63.8%
Draw
14.9%
Kilmarnock
21.3%
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General view of Easter Road, home to Hibernian, from 2014
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Hibernian confirm arrival of Alex Gogic from Hamilton
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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Celtic11005143
2Hibernian11002113
3RangersRangers11001013
4Ross County11001013
5St Mirren11001013
6Dundee UnitedDundee Utd10101101
7St Johnstone10101101
8Kilmarnock100112-10
9Aberdeen100101-10
10Livingston100101-10
11Motherwell100101-10
12Hamilton AcademicalHamilton100115-40

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