Hibs v Falkirk preview and match stats

Tom Taiwo saw red the last time Falkirk visited Easter Road
Tom Taiwo saw red the last time Falkirk visited Easter Road
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Hibs will be without key men John McGinn and Ofir Marciano for their match against Falkirk in the Ladbrokes Championship on Saturday.

Both the midfielder and the goalkeeper have received international call-ups from Scotland and Israel respectively, and will miss the top-of-the-table clash at Easter Road.

Falkirk were last at Easter Road in November when Paul Hanlon’s 83rd-minute equaliser spared Hibee blushes after John Baird had put the ten-man visitors ahead on the 77th minute. Ex-Hibs midfielder Tom Taiwo had earlier received a straight red card for a horror challenge on McGinn.

Hibs haven’t won at home against Falkirk since 2009, having played the Bairns six times at Easter Road since.

Dylan McGeouch and Ross Laidlaw look likely to replace McGinn and Marciano in central midfield and goal respectively, while Fraser Fyvie returns from suspension to add extra strength to the Hibs engine room. Neil Lennon is still without Liam Fontaine (ankle), Chris Humphrey (calf) and Danny Handling (fitness) through injury, while David Gray is a doubt with a tight hamstring.

Falkirk manager Peter Houston will be able to call on Canada’s goalscorer against Scotland in midweek, Fraser Aird, but 17-year-old left-back Tony Gallacher is with the Scotland under-19 squad in the Czech Republic. Midfielder Joe McKee is likely to be unavailable through injury.

A win for Hibs would put them ten points clear at the top of the Championship table ahead of the Bairns with a game in hand. Tomorrow’s match is the first of a crucial home double-header, with Morton visiting Easter Road on Wednesday.

Probable Hibs XI (4-4-2 Diamond): Laidlaw; Gray, McGregor, Ambrose, Stevenson; Bartley, McGeouch, Fyvie, Shinnie; Holt, Cummings

Probable Falkirk XI (4-4-2): Rogers; Kidd, Gasparotto, Grant, Leahy; Aird, Taiwo, Kerr, Sibbald; Baird, Austin.

Referee: Kevin Clancy

Where and when: Easter Road, tomorrow, 3pm kick-off.

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