Hibs midfielders John McGinn and Marvin Bartley will walk a suspension tightrope in Saturday’s match against Aberdeen, both players just a booking away from missing the next Edinburgh derby.
The pair were among six Hibs players shown the yellow card by referee Willie Collum during the 2-1 win over Rangers on February 3, a result which has tightened the Easter Road club’s grip on fourth place in the Premiership table.
But now the duo will have to tread carefully in a match vital to their hopes of overhauling Rangers and possibly even the Dons as they chase a spot in next season’s Europa League or risk being ruled out against Hearts early next month.
McGinn has already served a one-match ban after picking up six yellow cards earlier in the season, the Scotland player sitting out the 1-0 win against Partick Thistle at the beginning of December but has since amassed a further five bookings. Bartley has also now been shown five yellow cards and one more for either player will see an automatic suspension kick in.
Should McGinn do so, he’d be in line for a two-match ban given his previous suspension and Bartley would be forced to sit out one game.
Under the SFA’s disciplinary code, suspensions for players who incure the requisite number of bookings kick in 14 days from that date which means both McGinn and Bartley, should they fall foul of Saturday’s referee, would be available for Hibs’ next two games, at home to Motherwell and Hamilton. But any bans would take effect from Saturday March 3, a date set aside for the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup. However, with Hibs out of the competition, suspensions would come into play for the club’s next Premiership match – at home to Hearts on Friday, March 9.
Meanwhile, the SFA have confirmed that Aberdeen skipper Graeme Shinnie will begin a two-match ban by missing his side’s visit to Edinburgh this weekend, the midfielder having been booked for the 12th time this season during the Dons’ 4-2 victory away to Ross County on January 31, his suspension not applying to yesterday’s Scottish Cup tie against Dundee United.