Dundee United v Hibs: Team news and preview

James Keatings scored for Hibs in their 1-1 draw with Dundee United earlier in the season. Pic: TSPL
James Keatings scored for Hibs in their 1-1 draw with Dundee United earlier in the season. Pic: TSPL
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Hibs’ trip to Tannadice tonight for their top-of-the-table clash with Dundee United in the Ladbrokes Championship is complicated slightly by injures in midfield as they attempt to pull six-points clear of their second-placed rivals.

Head coach Neil Lennon will definitely be without midfielders John McGinn, who had ankle surgery last week and will be out until the new year at the earliest, and Fraser Fyvie, who has a groin tear that will sideline him until at least Christmas.

Marvin Bartley and Dylan McGeouch, the first-choice replacements for McGinn and Fyvie, are not without their own fitness issues. Bartley is a doubt with a stubbed toe, while McGeouch, who will start against the Tangerines, has been managing a groin problem all season. If Bartley does not fully recover, it will be 19-year-old Scott Martin who starts in the middle alongside Andrew Shinnie and McGeouch.

Winger Alex Harris joins the two central midfielders on the sidelines as he recovers from a hamstring problem, and midfielder Danny Handling is still only in light training as he continues his recovery from a long-standing knee injury. James Keatings is another absentee as he recovers from a partial tear in his medial ligament that he suffered in October.

Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon has less problems to deal with as only left-back Paul Dixon out of tonight’s fixture with a knee knock. Jamie Robson will continue to deputise.

United haven’t lost in the league since a 3-1 defeat at Falkirk in mid-September and have taken 16 points from a possible 18 in their last six fixtures. Hibs, meanwhile, have the best defence in Britain, having only conceded seven goals all season in the league.

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