St Johnstone v Hibs team news and probable line-ups: Change of formation | Boyle to start | Marciano to return?

A preview of Hibs' trip to McDiarmid Park to face St Johnstone

Friday, 8th November 2019, 6:00 am

The post-Paul Heckingbottom era starts on Saturday with a trip to McDiarmid Park to face St Johnstone.

Eddie May, Grant Murray and Steven Whittaker will take charge with Leeann Dempster eyeing an appointment to replace the departed Englishman by the end of the month.

More pressing issues arise at the weekend as Hibs try not to slip further down the table. They are currently tenth and a defeat, coupled with a draw between Hearts and St Mirren, would see the Easter Road men drop to the foot of the table.

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Hibs let a lead slip twice against St Johnstone earlier in the season. Picture: SNS
Hibs let a lead slip twice against St Johnstone earlier in the season. Picture: SNS

The Hibees have won just three of their last 11 trips to McDiarmid Park in the league. The Perth side are on the up with wins in their last two.

However, the interim coaches could change things up with possible starts for Ofir Marciano, Ryan Porteous, Martin Boyle and Florian Kamberi if they opt for players who are proven and experienced in Scottish football.

St Johnstone team news: Tommy Wright his unlikely to make many changes from the side which defeated Hearts on their last outing. Saints had a weekend off as the Betfred Cup semi-finals took place, having been due to play Rangers. Key centre-back Liam Gordon remains out.

Probable St Johnstone XI: Clark; Ralston, Duffy, Kerr, Tanser; Davidson, McCann; Wright, Kennedy, Wotherspoon; May.

Hibs teams news: There was great news this week for the Hibees as Darren McGregor returned to full training. He will unlikely be involved against St Johnstone but Ryan Porteous returns from suspension having sat out the Betfred Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic. Martin Boyle and Vykintas Slivka are pushing for a start.

Probable Hibs XI: Marciano; Naismith, Porteous, Hanlon, Stevenson; Hallberg, Mallan, Allan; Horgan, Boyle, Kamberi.

Key clash: St Johnstone have had a real issue defending cut-backs and low crosses or passes into the box from wide. In Martin Boyle Hibs have the ideal player to use pace to get in behind or down the sides of the Saints defence. He would likely come up against Scott Tanser who has struggled in one v one situations so far this campaign.

Last meeting: It was a match which was a key staging post in the demise of Paul Heckingbottom's Hibs tenure. Twice the Hibees led against Tommy Wright's side at Easter Road in August but were pegged back on both occasions, including a 94th-minute header from Jason Kerr. The game also saw the fans turn on their manager when he substituted Scott Allan.

Match details: Saturday, 9th November. McDiarmid Park, Perth. Kick-off 3pm. Tickets can be secured from the Hibs website.

Referee: Andrew Dallas (11 yellow cards, 1 red card in five Scottish Premiership games) - Dallas will oversee a Hibs game for the first time since this season. The last time he officiated the Easter Road side he provoked the ire of Paul Heckingbottom for awarding Kilmarnock a controversial penalty in a 1-0 defeat back in May.

Match odds: St Johnstone 6/4 Draw 9/4 Hibs 9/5