‘A defeat would turn the heat up’: Journalists’ predictions for St Mirren v Hibs
Hibs have become about as reliable as Scotrail in recent months with a real unpredictably about when they are and aren’t going to show up. It’s unlikely to get much better this weekend, but our online team have a crack at it anyway.
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Joel Sked: The good news for Hibs is that they have been to Paisley and won already this season. The bad news is that they were in a different place back then. The Hibees have only won on the road against the bottom three in what is turning into a trying season for the Easter Road side. Neil Lennon’s propensity to tinker has frustrated some sections of the support but he has not been helped with availability and is hampered by injury issues once more. He will have to go back to the drawing board to devise an XI. Hibs fans can take comfort with the fact that they have more quality than St Mirren. If they can match the Buddies in the battle they will prevail. Narrow Hibs win.
Patrick McPartlin: I don’t have a brilliant record in terms of Hibs predictions this season, possibly because the Easter Road side have been a bit Jekyll but mostly Hyde since the end of October. St Mirren just squeezed past Alloa in the Scottish Cup last weekend but the outcome of this one will depend on which Hibs team turns up. Neil Lennon’s side have enough about them to pick up the three points but after a miserable night against Motherwell in midweek, it may be another frustrating 90 minutes for the Capital club. Prediction: Draw
Mark Atkinson: For me, this is a critical match in Neil Lennon’s tenure as Hibs head coach. Up against the league’s bottom club, Hibs have to take all three points if they are serious about challenging for the top six. A defeat would turn the heat up on Lennon as there are murmurings of discontent from the Easter Road support after a concerning defeat away at Motherwell. However, this game has got draw written all over it for me. St Mirren will want it badly but won’t have enough quality to get the win, while Hibs have enough in albeit misfiring armoury to at least get on the scoresheet against one of the worst defences in the league.
Craig Fowler: If everything is all right at Easter Road behind the scenes then I still fancy them to get the three points here, in spite of recent form. Dundee, Hamilton and St Mirren have all behind utterly dreadful in the league this season, with the best of those three on course to muster up a measly 24 points across the entire campaign. And while there’s signs of life from the former, I’ve yet to see anything which suggests St Mirren are going to right the ship. I know the hosts got a draw the last time the teams played, but that was helped in part by a player scoring from 55 yards. A player who is no longer at St Mirren, I may add. Prediction: Hibs win
Anthony Brown: Both sides appear equally beleaguered ahead of this Paisley contest. St Mirren look like clear relegation candidates, while Hibs have been displaying the form of relegation candidates since October. For all their struggles, though, the Easter Road side still have a significantly better pool of players than their hosts. Captain David Gray is pushing for a first start since early October and his on-field presence generally makes Hibs a stronger proposition. If at least a couple of Florian Kamberi, Ryan Gauld, Daryl Horgan and Stevie Mallan are on form, Hibs should be capable of taking the points back to Edinburgh. Hibs win
Neil McGlade: Victory of Elgin City was expected, the loss at Motherwell on Wednesday night wasn’t. The importance of this weekend’s trip to Paisley cannot be underestimated for both club and manager. Hibs’ chances of making the top six hang in the balance so anything other than three points, I feel, would put paid to that for this season. Hibs must start with two strikers against the worst defence in the league. Saints will scrap for everything but I expect a response from the Easter Road outfit. Hibs win.