Hibs v Ayr: Teams and match preview
Hibs will be bidding to bounce back from their shock 2-0 loss to St Mirren in midweek when Ayr United visit Easter Road tomorrow for the Scottish Cup quarter-final.
Ayr remain the only team to have beaten the Hibees in the league at Easter Road as goals from Brian Gilmour and Conrad Balatoni secured a 2-1 victory for The Honest Men after a controversial Marvin Bartley red card turned the game in September. Last month it was super-sub Jason Cummings who scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw, rescuing the Hibees from another embarrassing defeat.
Ayr come into the match after a 1-0 victory over Raith Rovers at Somerset Park midweek and a victory over Clyde in the fifth round of the cup. Hibs manager Neil Lennon has not seen his side win in the league since the tail-end of January when they beat Queen of the South 1-0 at Palmerston Park, although the 3-1 derby win in the fifth round replay will take a long time to be forgotten.
Lennon will be forced to field a makeshift back four, with Efe Ambrose and Brian McLean both likely to start in central defence after Liam Fontaine was confirmed to be out for at least two months after going into surgery on an ankle injury. Fontaine joins Paul Hanlon and Jordan Forster on the injury table, while Darren McGregor will be unavailable as he serves a ban after he received a yellow card in both games against Hearts.
Ayr manager Ian McCall is also struggling with injuries, with midfielders Robbie Crawford, Jamie Adams, Paul Cairney, and Declan McDaid, and defender Peter Murphy all out with injuries. Striker and ex-Hibee Farid El Alagui is cup tied.
Probable Hibs XI (4-2-3-1): Marciano; Gray, McLean, Ambrose, Stevenson; Bartley, McGinn; Fyvie, Shinnie, Holt; Cummings.
Probable Ayr XI (4-4-2): Fleming; Devlin, Balatoni, McKenna, Meggatt; McGuffie, Rose, Wardrope, Gilmour; Forrest, Moore.