Hibs v Ross County: Match preview and probable line-ups

Paul Hanlon's first half goal in Dingwall was the difference the last time these two sides played each other, in what ended up being Jim McIntyre's final match as Ross County boss.

Friday, 22nd December 2017, 12:20 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd December 2017, 12:26 pm
Simon Murray will be looking to get back on the scoresheet against Ross County. Picture: Greg Macvean

Hibs have won just twice in their last seven; a 2-1 victory over Dundee at Easter Road and a 1-0 win away to Partick Thistle, and will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s heavy defeat at Pittodrie.

Deivydas Matulevicius is unlikely to feature having been told earlier this week he is free to leave Hibs, while this weekend’s match may come too soon for Liam Fontaine.

Ross Laidlaw remains sidelined with a shoulder injury, while Steven Whittaker will also miss the visit of the Staggies.

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David Gray has an outside chance of making the matchday squad; his knee injury has got better but the right back was laid low earlier this week with a bug. Danny Swanson, included in last week’s trip to face Aberdeen, could feature this time out.

While the Staggies started well under Owen Coyle - a win away to Kilmarnock in his first match - their form has been on a rollercoaster since then. A loss to Hearts in Coyle’s first home match was followed up with victory over Hamilton at Victoria Park, with a draw with St Johnstone and a narrow loss away to Aberdeen then a somewhat unexpected 3-2 win over Motherwell at the start of November.

But County haven’t won a match since that victory, having recorded four losses and two defeats in their six following games.

Coyle does have a full squad to pick from, however, with the exception of Michael Gardyne, who is suspended for the trip to the Capital.

Last five meetings: Ross County 0-1 Hibs; Ross County 0-0 Hibs (County won on penalties); Hibs 1-2 Ross County, Ross County 0-2 Hibs, Ross County 1-0 Hibs.

Likely Hibs team: (3-5-2): Marciano; Ambrose, McGregor, Hanlon; Boyle, McGeouch, Bartley, McGinn, Stevenson; Stokes, Murray. Subs from: Dabrowski, Gray, Porteous, Slivka, Swanson, Barker, F Murray, Shaw.

Likely Ross County team (4-1-4-1): Fox; Naismith, Davies, Fraser, van der Weg; Routis; Keillor-Dunn, Chow, O’Brien, Eagles; Schalk. Subs from: McCarey, Kelly, Lindsay, Draper, Dykes, Curran, Mckay, Mikkelsen, Dow.

Referee: Nick Walsh

Kick-off: 3.00pm

Odds: Hibs 11/20 Draw 17/5 Ross County 28/5 (Odds correct at the time of writing)