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

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

Livingston welcome Hibernian to West Lothian on Saturday, with David Martindale's team basking in the glory of a top-six finish in the Scottish Premiership.

Hibs can probably afford to relax a little, with Aberdeen's poor form helping them to look comfortable in third place in the table.


Match preview

Livingston's Marvin Bartley in action with Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos in August 2020© Reuters

David Martindale and his Livi team can look back on their campaign with pride, having reached the League Cup final and secured a top-six finish.

Martindale's appointment as manager as replacement for Gary Holt triggered a remarkable unbeaten run that began in early December and only ended in February when Livi were beaten at St Johnstone.

The Lions head into this game on the back of a 2-1 win at home to Hamilton Academical - a welcome return to form after a run of four games without a win for Martindale's men.

Livi had lost their last three matches, losing 1-0 to St Johnstone in the League Cup final before falling to defeats at home to Rangers and away at Motherwell.

A wonder goal from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas helped Livi to victory last weekend, and Martindale will be hoping for more of the same from the English striker this Saturday.

Hibernian boss Jack Ross was undoubtedly relieved that his team ended a run of two consecutive defeats with a 2-1 win at Ross County last time out.

He felt compelled to defend Martin Boyle in the press this week, after the Hibs forward was accused of diving to win a penalty against the Staggies.

There was more encouraging news about another Hibs forward, however, with Kevin Nisbet receiving a call-up to Steve Clarke's Scotland squad this week.

Nisbet's father died back in October after a battle with cancer, and Nisbet revealed this week that he promised him that he would become a full Scotland international.

The striker netted the winner last week against Ross County, and has now hit 14 goals in all competitions this season for the Hibees.

The focus for Hibs is now surely on what happens after the league splits, and they will want to generate some momentum before the serious business of cementing third place begins.

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

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

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


Team News

Hibernian manager Jack Ross pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Livi defender Alan Lithgow is set to return to action this weekend after 15 months out with a hip injury, having trained properly.

That news comes at a good time for David Martindale, with Jack McMillan struggling with an ankle injury and Ciaron Brown having returned to Cardiff City.

Scott Robinson could have played his last game for the Lions after reacting angrily to being substituted in the recent clash with Rangers.

Reports indicate that the 28-year-old has been disciplined by the club and he has been left out of the last two games.

Robinson's contract expires in the summer so it is unlikely that fans will see him in Livi colours again.

Jack Ross appears to have no reported injury concerns ahead of this weekend's game.

Hibs' 16-year-old striker Ethan Laidlaw has reportedly been told that he is free to join Leeds United in the summer, having spent time on loan in West Yorkshire.

Livingston possible starting lineup:
McCrorie; Devlin, Fitzwater, Guthrie, Longridge; Bartley, Holt; Sibbald, Pittman, Forrest; Emmanuel-Thomas

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


SM words green background

We say: Livingston 1-1 Hibernian

Both teams can probably afford to relax somewhat this weekend given their league positions, so this game might lack a little intensity.

A draw looks a likely result, and that outcome will not change very much at the top of the league table.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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/Away:data


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How you voted: Livingston vs Hibernian

Livingston
17.6%
Draw
17.6%
Hibernian
64.7%
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General view of Almondvale Stadium, home to Livingston, from 2005
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David Martindale hails Livingston's "unbelievable effort" after top-six finish
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers6411115613
2Hibernian6330126612
3Hearts633095412
4Motherwell632196311
5Dundee UnitedDundee Utd631234-110
6Celtic6303164129
7Aberdeen62226608
8St Johnstone613234-16
9Livingston611439-64
10St Mirren6042512-74
11Ross County6033513-83
12Dundee6033412-83

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