'The 'soft touch' accusation will remain': Journalists predictions for St Johnstone v Hibs

Our online team each try their best to predict the result as managerless Hibs travel to St Johnstone in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 4:53 pm
Updated Friday, 8th November 2019, 4:57 pm

Mark Atkinson: Even though Hibs won on their last trip to Perth, McDiarmid Park is not normally a happy hunting ground for them. Their mission on Saturday is not helped by the Saints' recent revival, winning their past two matches and getting themselves out of the relegation zone. This isn't caretaker boss Eddie May's first rodeo, though, and he'll have his team ready for the challenge. May has in the past gone with two strikers and that is essential here as St Johnstone are far from sound defensively. I believe this Hibs team will have been stung by Paul Heckingbottom's departure and the criticism that has come their way, but for me it will be baby steps. Even though Heckingbottom has left, his party trick of a score draw will still be played. Prediction: St Johnstone 2-2 Hibs.

Anthony Brown: Hibs drew each of their last five league matches while gripped by the sense of negativity that accompanied the closing months of Heckingbottom’s reign. In recent away trips, they have left Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Hamilton unscathed. If the caretaker management team make the required tweaks to the starting lineup, Hibs should be well capable of leaving Perth with at least a point. Prediction: Draw

Neil McGlade: The fans got their way at last with the departure of Heckingbottom earlier this week. However, I still feel the players should share some of the responsibility for the current demise of the club. It will be interesting to see how the interim management team set out their stall at McDiarmid Park against a side who are chasing their third successive victory. Hibs have the players to hurt St Johnstone but they remain suspect at the back and are likely to ship more goals than score. Prediction: St Johnstone win.

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Florian Kamberi attempts to move past Jason Kerr on Hibs' last trip to McDiarmid Park. Picture: SNS
Florian Kamberi attempts to move past Jason Kerr on Hibs' last trip to McDiarmid Park. Picture: SNS

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Joel Sked: It will be interesting to see what team the interim trio of May, Grant Murray and Steven Whittaker put out. They may feel like a return to a team with Scottish Premiership experience will give them the best chance to taste success in the league for the first time since August. Yet, they face a St Johnstone side on the up, having won their last two. It, as always, will be a tough encounter in Perth and a win will likely be required to be ground out, something the team have been unable to do. Question marks still persist regarding the defence and the protection of the backline. If Hibs can strike a good balance they can do it. Emphasis on the 'if'. St Johnstone win

Craig Fowler: Can we get Edinburgh football banned? I'm sure we'd all be much happier. The problem for Hibs fans between now and the arrival of the January transfer window, even if they do get in a competent replacement for Heckingbottom, is that this team is still missing a proper robust midfielder and anyone who can add a bit of steeliness and protection for the defence. Without that it's hard to imagine they won't continue to struggle. There's still enough quality in the squad to pick up results from time to time, but the 'soft touch' accusation will remain until reinforcements are brought in. That is not ideal against a St Johnstone side who have picked up recently. Prediction: Home win.