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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Scottish Cup clash between St Mirren and St Johnstone, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

St Mirren and St Johnstone will lock horns at Hampden Park on Sunday afternoon, hoping to book their place into this year's Scottish Cup final.

Both sides won penalty shootouts to progress to the semi-final stage, with the Buddies defeating Kilmarnock and the Saints surprising everyone by eliminating Premiership champions Rangers.

Match preview

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

St Mirren suffered their first home defeat since February when they lost 2-1 to basement club Hamilton Academical last weekend.

Ross Callachan and David Moyo gave the Accies a two-goal lead, but Jamie McGrath scored his 16th goal of the campaign to pull one back for the hosts.

Jim Goodwin's side were unable to find an equaliser and lost their 15th Scottish Premiership match of the season, which has seen them drop to eighth in the table, one point behind Motherwell in seventh.

St Mirren now turn their attention to the Scottish Cup, a competition they have not won since the 1986-87 season. Former Buddies forward Frank McGarvey, who scored the winning goal in that cup final against Dundee United, has tipped Goodwin's men to go all the way and lift the trophy, but feels that an impressive defensive display is needed on Sunday if they are to come out on top.

The Buddies have won only one of their last five meetings with St Johnstone – a 3-2 home victory in December – but securing a win at Hampden Park would see them progress to their first domestic cup final since 2013.

Callum Davidson pictured in 2018© Reuters

St Johnstone extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to five matches when they beat Hibernian 1-0 at Easter Road last weekend.

Glenn Middleton scored his first league goal of the season in the 22nd minute which proved to be the winning goal for the Saints, who moved up to fifth in the Scottish Premiership.

Callum Davidson has been reflecting on a "phenomenal" first season in charge of the club. The 44-year-old has led St Johnstone to Scottish League Cup glory – just the second trophy triumph in the club's history – as well as a top-six finish in the Premiership and another cup semi-final this weekend.

The Saints are unbeaten in their last seven matches away from McDiarmid Park and have also won two of their three meetings with St Mirren this campaign, narrowly securing two 1-0 league victories.

St Johnstone have only ever progressed to the final of the Scottish Cup once before in their history, when they won the competition in 2014, and a victory on Sunday would book their place into their second domestic cup final this season and just their fifth since they were formed in 1884.

St Mirren Scottish Cup form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

St Mirren form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

St Johnstone Scottish Cup form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

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

Team News

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin pictured in August 2020© Reuters

St Mirren will still be without striker Eamonn Brophy, who is recovering from a fractured foot, while Jonathan Obika (groin), Ryan Flynn (hamstring) and Dylan Connolly (shoulder) are all doubtful.

The Buddies announced this week that right-back Marcus Fraser has signed a new two-year contract with the club. The 26-year-old, who has made 45 appearances in all competitions so far this season, is set to start in defence on Sunday.

McGrath began last weekend on the bench but is expected to start in an advanced midfield role at the expense of Cameron MacPherson, with Kristian Dennis set to lead the line ahead of Lee Erwin.

As for St Johnstone, they have been dealt a huge blow heading into this weekend, as they will be without four players due to a coronavirus outbreak at the club. Two players have tested positive and another two have also been forced to self-isolate as they were deemed to have been within close contact with those infected.

None of these players have been identified at present, but Davidson will be hoping that this does not hinder their chances of progressing to the final.

Saints midfielder Murray Davidson, who came off the bench last Saturday and made his first appearance since suffering a calf injury in February, is in contention to feature at Hampden Park.

Middleton and Michael O'Halloran, who both started against Hibs, are likely to be replaced by Craig Conway and David Wotherspoon, while Stevie May is set to lead the line ahead of Chris Kane.

St Mirren possible starting lineup:
Alnwick; Fraser, McCarthy, Shaughnessy, Tait; McAllister, Doyle-Hayes, Erhahon, Durmus; McGrath; Dennis

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

SM words green background

We say: St Mirren 1-2 St Johnstone

Goodwin will be desperate to win his first piece of silverware as St Mirren boss, and now that Old Firm pair Rangers and Celtic have been eliminated from the competition, the Buddies will fancy their chances of going all the way in the Scottish Cup.

However, St Johnstone already know what it takes to reach a cup final this campaign and that experience, plus the form they carry into the semi-final, might just give them the edge on Sunday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data

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St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin pictured on August 9, 2020
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