After their comprehensive win over Motherwell last Friday, Hibernian sit second in the SPL on goal difference. Due to Rangers demotion to the Scottish Third division, many clubs were in contention to seize the opportunity that left and finish in the top two. Hibs may not have been many people’s choice to be that club after dismal league showing last season but they have improved immeasurably and it’s evidenced by their current league position. The 4-0 thrashing at Fir Park last time out was arguably their most impressive under Pat Fenlon with Leigh Griffiths at the centre of it all. He grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons last season but he seems to have matured and it’s resulted in him heading the goal scoring charts with nine league goals. Should he continue in the same form and they can keep him fit and suspension free, Hibs could well be fighting for second place come May.
St Mirren have lost their last three games in the SPL but did manage a win on penalties against Aberdeen in the quarter final of the League Cup. It would have came as a massive relief for Danny Lennon as his side went the whole of October without managing one point in the SPL. A 5-0 hammering to Celtic was sandwiched between two games where they lost by the odd goal. It has resulted in them slipping down the table after grabbing two wins from three matches previously. It remains to be seen what Tuesday’s efforts in the cup took out of them but they’ll be desperate to avoid four consecutive defeats in the league – a run of form which they haven’t experienced since 2010.
Hibs have yet to taste defeat a Easter Road this season with three wins and two defeats so far. Their defensive record is also much better at home compared to their travels which Fenlon and his coaching staff will have worked on as they made reference to the fact they conceded too many goals at home last season. They probably won’t be too pleased to see St Mirren on Saturday, however, as they haven’t managed a win over the Buddies at Easter Road in their last four games.
Despite an eight point cushion over bottom placed Dundee, Danny Lennon, his players and the supporters will not be happy with their current league position of 11th. The manager will be hoping that Tuesday’s cup success will have buoyed his players ahead of league business tomorrow but there is also the fear that they will be a touched jaded – both physically and mentally – after the extra time and penalties.
Hibs are a different opposition to that of six months ago and it’s credit to Fenlon that he has got much of the same squad working together and achieving results. St Mirren are on a bad run and despite their qualification for the semi-final of the League Cup, I can’t envisage anything other than a home win on Saturday.
Hibs 6/5 @ William Hill