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Preview: Hibernian vs. St Johnstone - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish Premiership clash between Hibernian and St Johnstone, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hibernian will face St Johnstone for the fifth time this campaign when they lock horns at Easter Road in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.

The two sides head into this game off the back of thrilling penalty shootout victories in the Scottish Cup, sending them both into the semi-finals.


Match preview

Hibernian manager Jack Ross pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Hibernian progressed to the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup for the fifth time in seven years as they won an entertaining encounter with Motherwell 4-2 on penalties last weekend.

Christian Doidge's early second-half opener was followed by a strike from Jackson Irvine 10 minutes from time, however the Steelmen quickly came from two goals behind to take the quarter-final clash into extra-time, which eventually had to be settled by a penalty shootout.

Mark O'Hara and Steven Lawless both missed their spot-kicks for the visitors before Kevin Nisbet's effort was saved by Liam Kelly. However, Hibs defender Ryan Porteous scored the decisive kick from 12 yards, setting up a semi-final tie against Dundee United next week.

Jack Ross will now be keen to secure another win in the Scottish Premiership this weekend as they look to claim their highest top-flight finish since the 2004-05 campaign.

Hibernian are winless in their last six home league games against St Johnstone, but they have won three of their last four top-flight matches at Easter Road, as many as they had in their previous 12 fixtures beforehand.

Victory on Saturday for Hibs would secure a third-place finish, if Aberdeen in fourth were to drop points against Livingston.

Callum Davidson pictured in 2018© Reuters

St Johnstone are one step closer to winning their second piece of silverware this campaign after they stunned Premiership champions Rangers, knocking them out of the Scottish Cup on penalties last weekend.

After a goalless 90 minutes, James Tavernier thought he had won it for the Gers in extra time, however the Saints equalised in dramatic fashion when an in-swinging corner in the 121st minute was headed towards goal by goalkeeper Zander Clark and then instinctively tapped in by Chris Kane, sending the tie to penalties.

Clark proved to be the hero in both boxes as he also saved two penalties from Tavernier and Kemar Roofe, with Ali McCann's winning spot-kick firing St Johnstone back to Hampden Park for the second time this season.

Callum Davidson's side have already triumphed in the Scottish League Cup this campaign and a victory against St Mirren in the semi-finals a week on Sunday would send the Saints into another domestic cup final.

St Johnstone now turn their attention back to the Scottish Premiership where they have nothing but a top-five place to play for. The last time the Saints ended a top-flight season as high as fifth was in the 2016-17 campaign, when Tommy Wright guided them to their third successive fourth-place finish.

Davidson's side have only lost one of their last seven away league outings and are unbeaten in their last three. Claiming all three points at Easter Road on Saturday could see them climb above Livingston on goal difference into fifth place, if the Lions were to lose against Aberdeen.

Hibernian Scottish Premiership form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Hibernian form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

St Johnstone Scottish Premiership form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

St Johnstone form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W


Team News

Ryan Porteous of Hibernian pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Hibernian are still without defender Sean Mackie, who is recovering from a thigh injury, while midfielder Chris Cadden is also set to miss out after picking up a knock in training.

Ross could name the same 10 outfield players that started against Motherwell, but Israeli goalkeeper Ofir Marciano is expected to come in for Matt Macey.

Strikers Doidge and Nisbet, who have contributed to 40 goals between them so far this campaign, are set to keep their partnership in attack.

St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson, who has missed the last 12 games with a calf injury, is hoping to feature at Easter Road this weekend, but is unlikely to start the match.

Davidson is set to stick with a three-man defence which will see Jason Kerr, Liam Gordon and Jamie McCart start at the back, shielding Clark in goal.

Stevie May could lead the line once again ahead of Kane, while Callum Booth could be handed a start at left wing-back ahead of Scott Tanser.

Hibernian possible starting lineup:
Marciano; McGinn, Hanlon, Porteous, Doig; Boyle, Gogic, Newell, Irvine; Doidge, Nisbet

St Johnstone possible starting lineup:
Clark; Kerr, Gordon, McCart; Rooney, McCann, Wotherspoon, Craig, Booth; Melamed; May


SM words green background

We say: Hibernian 1-2 St Johnstone

After winning 1-0 against Hibernian in March, St Johnstone are looking to secure back-to-back top-flight victories against them for the first time since January 2012, and with their current form, we feel that they have every chance of achieving this on Saturday.

The hosts have won only seven of their 17 league matches at Easter Road this campaign, and although Doidge and Nisbet will be a threat going forward, we feel that the visitors have enough to secure all three points in the Scottish capital.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data


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How you voted: Hibernian vs St Johnstone

Hibernian
78.9%
Draw
15.8%
St Johnstone
5.3%
19
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Hibernian manager Jack Ross pictured in October 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CRangersRangers33285078106889
2Celtic33209466244269
3Hibernian33168944311356
4Aberdeen331310103231149
5Livingston33128134041-144
6St Johnstone331010133440-640
7St Mirren331010133038-840
8Dundee UnitedDundee Utd33912122943-1439
9Motherwell3398163251-1935
10Ross County3385202659-3329
11Kilmarnock3384213347-1428
12Hamilton AcademicalHamilton3369183160-2927

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