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

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

St Johnstone, victorious in the League Cup final over Livingston last weekend, return to Scottish Premiership business when they welcome Hibernian to Perth on Saturday.

Third-placed Hibs will be looking to bounce back from a surprising 2-0 home defeat to Motherwell last weekend.


Match preview

Hibernian manager Jack Ross pictured in October 2020© Reuters

St Johnstone can claim to be the second-most successful club in Scotland over the last decade now, thanks to their 1-0 victory over Livingston in the League Cup final at Hampden Park last weekend.

Skipper Jason Kerr now hopes that the momentum from that glory in Glasgow can propel the Perth Saints to a top-six finish this season.

If that is to happen there is still much work to be done, with the Perth club currently in eighth place in the table with 34 points, five behind sixth-placed St Mirren.

The victory in the final was achieved thanks to Shaun Rooney's solitary goal of the game, and now Saints boss Callum Davidson is touting the right-back as a possible Scotland international.

Rooney scored in the quarter-final and the semi-final as well as the final and has been an impressive performer for the Perth club over the course of the campaign.

The Saints followed on from their League Cup glory with a 1-1 draw at Hamilton Academical in midweek.

A late strike from Guy Melamed secured a point for Davidson's team, but the manager will want a more assured display from his team against Hibs.

Jack Ross's Hibs were beaten 2-0 at home by Motherwell last weekend, a result that brought an end to a four-game winning run.

The Leith outfit have climbed into third place in the table in recent weeks on the back of that form and Aberdeen's indifferent run.

They are now four points clear of the Dons with a game in hand, although Ross will know that things can soon change after the league splits into two halves soon.

That means that they need to regain some momentum with this trip to McDiarmid Park and Ross will want to see improvement from last week's below-par performance.

The Hibs fans have certainly remained loyal despite not being able to watch their team. Fan donations have this week allowed the club to make improvements to their performance analysis and GPS systems.

Ross will surely appreciate any possible edge he can gain as he looks to steer his team to finish in third.

St Johnstone Scottish Premiership form: WLWLWD
St Johnstone form (all competitions): LWLWWD

Hibernian Scottish Premiership form: LWWWWL


Team News

Kevin Nisbet pictured for Hibernian in October 2020© Reuters

St Johnstone fan-favourite Murray Davidson will continue the absence from the Saints lineup that saw him miss the League Cup final last weekend.

The midfielder has a calf injury that looks likely to keep him out of action for much of March.

Callum Davidson has no other injury or suspension concerns ahead of this weekend's game.

Hibs manager Ross has acknowledged that he could be missing "three or four" players this weekend without being too specific about who could be out.

He also stated that his team could be at full strength, as he anticipates that some of the injured players will play through the pain barrier.

Josh Doig missed last weekend's defeat to 'Well and he has not trained this week, according to his manager.

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

Hibernian possible starting lineup:
Marciano; McGinn, McGregor, Hanlon; Cadden, Irvine, Newell, Stevenson; Murphy; Boyle, Doidge


SM words green background

We say: St Johnstone 1-2 Hibernian

Hibs should manage to come away from their trip to Perth with three points, and cement their grip on third place.

Ross's team will be well-motivated to win after last week's defeat, and they look like having too much quality for the Perth Saints to handle on Saturday.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting 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.Away Win:data


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Callum Davidson pictured in 2018
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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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