Hibs v Ross County team news and probable line-ups: Allan set to return | pressure on Doidge | elusive league win
Hibs go into this weekend's clash still without a victory in the Ladbrokes Premiership since the opening day of the season.
Things have looked a little better for Paul Heckingbottom and his men and recent weeks. Four consecutive draws (one of which led to victory on penalties and a semi-final appearance) have suggested that a corner could be turned. However, the Hibs boss will need to start racking up victories if he's going to get supporters back on his side.
There were positives in the draw with Hamilton as Joe Newell showed flashes of the player Hibs were hoping for when they signed him, while Stevie Mallan and Ryan Porteous also impressed. But despite being the better side, Hibs still couldn't secure the three points.
Performances have improved, but game management remains a weakness. They need to put it altogether when County come to town.
Hibs team news: Nothing new to report. Scott Allan is expected to return to the starting XI after appearing from the bench against Hamilton following an ankle complaint. The missing foursome of Martin Boyle (knee), Darren McGregor (abdominal), David Gray (knee) and Vykintas Slivka (ankle) are continuing with their recoveries.
Probable Hibs team (4-2-3-1): Maxwell; James, Porteous, Hanlon, Stevenson; Hallberg, Vela; Mallan, Allan, Newell; Doidge.
Probable Ross County team (4-2-3-1): Laidlaw; Watson, Fraser, Fontaine, Foster; Draper, Chalmers; Stewart, Spittal, Gardyne; Mckay
Key clash: There's no doubt about it. The key clash is Christian Doidge against Christian Doidge. The Hibs striker will be a handful for the County defence. He'll win headers, he'll link with team-mates and he'll make perfectly-timed runs in behind the defence. He will get at least one chance to score. If he can get out of his own way and find his composure in front of goal then Hibs will surely win this one.
Last meeting: Hibs managed to edge out their lower league opponents in the Betfted Cup last season in a clash at Easter Road. New signing Daryl Horgan was able to make himself an instant hero, netting an injury-time winner for Neil Lennon's men.
Match details: Saturday, October 26, Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh. Kick-off 3pm. Tickets available via the Hibs website.
Referee: This is the second Hibs match Steven McLean will take charge of this season. Heckingbottom's side will hope for better fortune than the last time they encountered the whistler, August's 3-0 defeat at Motherwell.
Odds: Hibs 8/11 Draw 13/5 Ross County 15/4