Kilmarnock v Hibs: Journalists' predictions for Hibs' trip to Ayrshire

Ryan Porteous scored in the 2-2 draw at Rugby Park in February. Picture: SNS Group
Ryan Porteous scored in the 2-2 draw at Rugby Park in February. Picture: SNS Group
Have your say

We asked six of our sports journalists for their thoughts and predictions for today's meeting between Kilmarnock and Hibs. Here's what they had to say ...

Mark Atkinson

This is a really important game for Neil Lennon's side. Defeat is almost unthinkable as nine points would be quite a gap to make up on Killie. When these two meet, there are normally goals and I expect the same again. I'm not convinced Hibs are in good enough form to take all three points from Ayrshire, but I don't think they'll lose either. Prediction: Draw

Anthony Brown

A trip to Kilmarnock is now viewed as a formidable test for any team in the league in light of the remarkable improvement Steve Clarke has overseen at Rugby Park over the past year. Their only defeats in Ayrshire this season came at the hands of Hearts and Aberdeen, and both of those setbacks were widely deemed to be extremely harsh on the hosts. It is far from the ideal fixture for a Hibs side looking to snap out of a five-game winless streak, but Neil Lennon can take encouragement from the fact his team remain unbeaten in their five matches against Clarke’s Kilmarnock. Prediction: Draw

Craig Fowler

Rugby Park should be one of the least desirable places to travel for a Hibs squad struggling badly for form right now. However, Steve Clarke has thus far been able to defeat the Hibees in his Killie career, as Neil Lennon's men have typically racked up the goals on an otherwise robust Killie rearguard. For whatever reason, the Ayrshire side struggle to keep out the Hibs attackers more than most, and if Hibs can get a big game from some key players - notably Florian Kamberi and Martin Boyle - then they could snatch this. Prediction: Away win

Neil McGlade

A real tough one to call at Rugby Park. Hibs will be desperate to make amends for last weekend's disappointing draw with Dundee and register their first win in five games. However, Kilmarnock are formidable opposition on their own patch so I don't see Neil Lennon's men returning to Edinburgh with maximum points. Prediction: Score draw

Patrick McPartlin

The odds would appear stacked against Hibs getting a result at Rugby Park, but I've a gut feeling Neil Lennon's side might just leave Ayrshire with the three points. The likes of Martin Boyle and Mark Milligan will be fully recovered following their exploits with the Australia national team and the potential return of David Gray would be a big boost for Hibs. Neil Lennon's unbeaten record against Steve Clarke, coupled with the need for a reaction to last week's disappointing draw with Dundee could be enough to tip the balance towards Hibs. Prediction: Away win

Joel Sked

After taking a 2-0 lead against Dundee on Saturday Hibs became disjointed. If they start like that against Steve Clarke's Kilmarnock they will be punished heavily. However, Neil Lennon has had a week to work with his players and the squad is getting back to full fitness with David Gray set to return. The team have done well against Killie since Clarke took over and it would be a huge surprise if there wasn't a reaction from the team. A share of the points looks to be the most likely outcome. Prediction: Draw