Hibs are looking to close the gap on rivals Hearts at the top of the table with a victory over Hamilton tomorrow. Here’s all there is to know about Saturday’s visitors to Easter Road
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Their team news
Darian MacKinnon and Mickel Miller are both in contention to return to the starting XI after sitting out last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to basement boys Dundee with hamstring injuries. Defender Alex Gogic and forward Marios Ogkmpoe are both out with long-term knee injuries.
They’ll come equipped to defend
Accies may be the least attack-minded team in the league to this point. They are second last for shots on goal, crosses and dribbles attempted, and are dead last for touches in the opposing penalty area. They are, however, first in the league for defensive duels and second for aerial duels, meaning they’ll come ready to fight for their lives in order to leave without defeat.
Hard to say what the team will be
Martin Canning is still looking for the right formula after recruiting 16 players over the summer. He started with the 3-5-2 system that they preferred for the majority of last season as they once again escaped relegation from the top flight. However, that was binned in favour of a 4-3-3 formation for the visit of St Mirren two weeks ago. Whether Canning sticks with it after the disappointing performance and defeat to Dundee remains to be seen.
Who’s the star man?
Mickel Miller has netted six goals in ten games so far this season, including a double in the win over St Mirren. Signed in January from Carshalton Athletic in the English non-leagues, Miller was brought in as a project for Accies to develop, mainly coming off the bench in his six appearances last term.
His improvement is already apparent this campaign. A lively striker with quick movement and good pace, he’s a real handful for opposing defences. His absence was sorely felt in the Dundee defeat and it’ll be a significant boost for Hibs if he misses this match. Without him, there’s a real lack of attacking spark in the Accies side.
How’s Scott Martin getting on?
The former Hibs midfielder moved to Hamilton in the summer and has started the last three games for Canning’s side. Obviously it’s still early, but the signs so far have been positive. While his first start came in what was arguably Accies’ worst display of the season so far, the 1-0 defeat to Livingston, Martin was at least praised for his work ethic in the middle of the park. He then built on that display with a terrific showing in the win over St Mirren. And while Accies came back down to earth with a bump against Dundee, Martin was the only member of the midfield area not to come in for criticism from Accies supporters.