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Preview: St Mirren vs. Kilmarnock - prediction, team news, lineups

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

St Mirren play host to Kilmarnock on Saturday, as the hosts look to cement themselves in the top six of the Scottish Premiership table.

They will be looking to return to winning ways after a narrow loss to Hibernian last time out, while Kilmarnock will be hoping for a reaction after a heavy 4-0 defeat to Celtic on Tuesday night.


Match preview

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin pictured on August 9, 2020© Reuters

St Mirren come into this game following a 2-1 loss at home to third-placed Hibernian on Tuesday night, and they will be looking to bounce back with a win in this game.

They did not make a good start to the game, with goalkeeper Jak Alnwick racing out of his box and receiving a red card for bringing down the Hibernian attacker in the first half, before second-half goals from Ryan Porteous and Martin Boyle gave the visitors a two-goal lead with 20 minutes to go.

A goal from Jonathan Obika then halved the deficit with 15 minutes remaining, but Jim Goodwin's side could not find an equaliser, falling to a narrow loss after a resilient effort with 10 men.

Before that result, St Mirren recorded an impressive 2-1 victory over Celtic at St Mirren Park, with Kristian Dennis giving the hosts an early lead. Odsonne Edouard then equalised for the defending champions, before Ilkay Durmus restored the Buddies' lead soon after.

That goal sealed an eighth league win of the season for the Paisley outfit after 24 matches, seeing them better last season's tally of seven victories from 30 games, before the domestic league was brought to an end by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Goodwin has definitely seen improvement from his side this season, and they look in a good position to finish in the top six, which would secure them a place in the Championship group when the league is separated into two after 33 games.

They currently sit in sixth spot, one point ahead of seventh-placed Dundee United, however the Buddies have three games in hand on the side below them, and recently defeated the Tangerines 5-1 away from home in league action.

Goodwin's men come up against a Kilmarnock side who will be hoping for a positive result in their bid to avoid relegation to Scotland's second tier.

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin pictured in August 2020© Reuters

This will be the away side's second game without a manager, after the departure of Alex Dyer following a 3-2 loss to fellow strugglers St Johnstone.

In that game, Killie took a 2-0 lead through Chris Burke and Aaron Tshibola, before the visitors completed a second-half comeback, scoring three and confirming another loss for the Ayrshire side, triggering Dyer's dismissal.

Currently under the temporary charge of James Fowler and Andy Millen, Kilmarnock were on the wrong end of a 4-0 thrashing to Celtic last time out in the pair's first game at the helm.

Goals from Scott Brown, Albian Ajeti and an Edouard double sealed a comfortable win for the side in second place, confirming a fourth consecutive league loss for Saturday's visitors.

The run of defeats has seen them slip down the table, now sitting in 10th place, five points ahead of basement side Hamilton Academical, and just one point ahead of 11th-placed Ross County.

However, they will be encouraged by their victory over St Mirren earlier in the season, when Nicke Kabamba netted the only goal of the game for Killie.

Fowler will be hoping they can repeat this result on Saturday and bag a crucial win, which would be their first in five games.

St Mirren Scottish Premiership form: DDLWWL
St Mirren form (all competitions): DLLWWL

Kilmarnock Scottish Premiership form: DWLLLL


Team News

St Mirren will be without goalkeeper Jak Alnwick, who will serve a suspension for the red card shown against Hibernian, with Dean Lyness expected to start in his place.

Attacker Collin Quaner, who the hosts signed in January, will also be unavailable for this game, having picked up an injury in their 1-0 loss to St Johnstone, just 20 minutes after coming off the bench in his first appearance for the club.

The home side will be hoping that creative midfielder Jamie McGrath can add to his tally of nine goals in all competitions for the Buddies this season, with five of those coming in league action.

Jonathan Obika could earn his place back in the starting lineup, having scored off the bench in the recent 2-1 loss to Hibernian.

Meanwhile, the away side have several defensive injury worries, with centre-backs Kirk Broadfoot and Stuart Findlay both spending time on the sidelines, while full-back Calum Waters also remains out of the squad with a groin strain picked up in December.

However, Kilmarnock did take action to solve their defensive issues, bringing in young centre-back Zech Medley on loan from Arsenal on deadline day.

They also added to their attacking ranks in January, picking up George Oakley, who has featured in three Scottish Premiership games since his arrival.

St Mirren possible starting lineup:
Lyness; Fraser, McCarthy, Shaughnessy, Tait; McGrath, Flynn, Doyle-Hayes, Durmus; Dennis, Obika

Kilmarnock possible starting lineup:
Rogers; Millen, Rossi, Medley, Haunstrup; Power, Dicker, Tshibola; Burke, Oakley, McKenzie


SM words green background

We say: St Mirren 2-1 Kilmarnock

We see St Mirren bouncing back from their previous loss with a win in this game, coming up against a side lacking confidence, having lost their last four games in the league.

While Kilmarnock may be boosted by the new style of the temporary management staff, we predict another narrow loss for Killie and an important three points for the hosts.


Top betting 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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Hibernian6330126612
2RangersRangers5401104612
3Hearts633095412
4Motherwell531185310
5Celtic5302163139
6Aberdeen62226608
7Dundee UnitedDundee Utd521224-27
8St Johnstone613234-16
9St Mirren6042512-74
10Dundee5032411-73
11Ross County6033513-83
12Livingston501429-71

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