Hibs v St Mirren preview: Formation change? | Marvin Bartley to start? | David Gray latest

Hibs welcome St Mirren to Easter Road tonight in the Ladbrokes Premiership looking to turn around the form that has left Neil Lennon's side winless in six.

Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 11:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 12:40 pm

The Northern Irishman has close to a full squad to choose from but is without right-back and club captain David Gray, while winger Thomas Agyepong and midfielder Emerson Hyndman will also likely miss out.

The unorthodox line-up that took to the field against Kilmarnock at the weekend is unlikely to be repeated, meaning there could be several changes in personnel as Hibs look to secure the three points.

Lewis Stevenson could come back into the starting line-up at left-back, while central defender Darren McGregor and right-back Steven Whittaker could drop out after the pair were hooked at half time in Ayrshire.

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Hibs take on St Mirren tonight - and Florian Kamberi, Martin Boyle, Daryl Horgan and Efe Ambrose could all start. Picture: SNS Group

Midfielder Daryl Horgan could be recalled to the starting XI after coming on as a sub against Killie.

Gray, who had seemed likely to feature against Kilmarnock, won’t take part in tonight’s game and could miss the trip to Hamilton on Saturday.

The Buddies aren’t short of their own problems, although last weekend’s impressive 2-0 win over Hearts will have been a shot in the arm for Oran Kearney’s side. The Paisley club have recorded just two wins all season, as well as draws with Celtic at the Simple Digital Arena and Dundee at Dens Park.

That point in the City of Discovery is their only point on the road with their other seven points being won at home with wins over Dundee and Hearts.

There are several Hibs / St Mirren connections in the two squads this evening, with midfielder Stevie Mallan having come up through the ranks at St Mirren and McGregor spending four years in Paisley.

Buddies defender Adam Eckersley spent time with Hibs during Alan Stubbs’ tenure, but never made a first-team appearance, while Paul and Stephen McGinn are the elder brothers of former Hibs midfielder John McGinn.

Hibs goalkeeping coach Alan Combe made more than 120 appearances for St Mirren in the mid-1990s, while Buddies assistant boss Brian Rice spent five years with Hibs in the early 1980s and first-team coach Jimmy Nicholl had a spell as No.2 at Easter Road under Pat Fenlon.

Injuries / suspensions / unavailable

Hibs - David Gray will miss the midweek tie and is also a doubt for Saturday’s trip to Hamilton. Thomas Agyepong is likely to miss out and Emerson Hyndman is a doubt.

St Mirren - Striker Simeon Jackson sits this one out through suspension following his red card against Hamilton, while the Buddies are without striker Cody Cooke, winger Ryan Flynn and defender Gary MacKenzie through injury.

Possible teams

Hibs: Bogdan, Ambrose, Porteous, Hanlon, Stevenson; Bartley, Milligan; Boyle, Mallan, Horgan; Kamberi. Subs from: Marciano, Mavrias, Mackie, Nelom, McGregor, Whittaker, Hyndman, Slivka, Maclaren, Shaw, Gullan, Allan.

St Mirren: Rogers, Hodson, Baird, Jones, Erhahon; Magennis, S McGinn, McShane, P McGinn; Mullen, Hammill. Subs from: Lyness, Smith, Eckersley, Heaton, Jamieson, Willock, Edwards, MacPherson, Ferdinand.

Magic number: 5 - the number of goals shared the last time St Mirren won at Easter Road on league duty. A Ben Williams own goal, and two goals in two minutes from Adam Campbell and Steven Thompson, gave a Buddies team containing John McGinn and Darren McGregor a commanding lead after just 26 minutes, although a James Collins brace reduced the deficit.

Key battle: Adam Hammill has been in fine form for St Mirren, scoring both goals in the 2-0 win over Hearts. Defender Ryan Porteous will have his work cut out shackling the former Huddersfield attacker.

Key stats: Stevie Mallan is currently has the most shots on goal (36) for Hivs as well as shots on target (11). The Capital club’s record against bottom six clubs is four wins from seven matches, two draws and one defeat.

St Mirren have only scored more than one goal on two occasions this year – the 2-1 win over Dundee on the opening day of the season, and the 2-0 home win against Hearts last month. Adam Hammill is the side’s top scorer with three goals from his seven appearances.

Referee: Euan Anderson will be the man in the middle for this midweek tie. The whistler has taken charge of six Hibs games in the past, with Hibs winning three, losing twice and drawing the other. Anderson’s last match involving Hibs was the trip to Paisley earlier this season, when a David Gray goal sealed the points for the Capital club. Assistant referees are Gordon Crawford and Gary Hilland, with Gavin Ross on fourth official duties for the evening.