St Mirren v Hibs: Defensive reshuffle, more injuries, Bogdan latest
Hibs travel to Paisley on Sunday without suspended head coach Neil Lennon and looking for just their third league win in 15 matches, taking on a St Mirren team who recorded a 2-2 draw at Easter Road in November.
The Buddies were on the wrong end of a 4-0 scoreline at Celtic Park in midweek, and earlier this month lost Adam Hammill, who scored in the last meeting between the two sides.
Hibs, who will have first-team coach Grant Murray in charge, are without seven players, while the Buddies are missing four.
Injury to Ryan Porteous against Motherwell should see Paul Hanlon restored to central defence, with Miquel Nelom or Sean Mackie starting at left-back. David Gray could return to the starting line-up at the expense of Steven Whittaker while Vykintas Slivka could come in for Stephane Omeonga in midfield.
Goalkeeper Adam Bogdan will likely not be risked after he suffered a concussion against Elgin City last weekend.
It’s increasingly looking like a three-way battle at the foot of the Ladbrokes Premiership table to avoid either being automatically relegated or the pain of a play-off spot.
Just two points separate St Mirren in bottom place from Hamilton with Dundee sandwiched between the two.
Meanwhile. Hanlon has called on his team-mates to help out the Easter Road forwards by chipping in with goals, saying: “We all need to step up in terms of goalscoring and creating, to just be a little bit more clinical and have that desire in front of goal to even put yourself in a position to miss. We aren’t even doing that, the ball is flashing across and we just need to put ourselves on the line a bit.”
Injuries / suspensions / unavailable
St Mirren: Danny Rogers (knee), Danny Mullen (foot), Gary MacKenzie (achilles), Kyle Magennis (hamstring)
Hibs: Thomas Agyepong (hamstring), Adam Bogdan (concussion), Martin Boyle (knee), Ryan Porteous (knee), Lewis Stevenson (hamstring), Jamie Maclaren, Mark Milligan (both international duty).
St Mirren (4-1-4-1): Hladky; P McGinn, Baird, Ferdinand, Erhahon; S McGinn; McAllister, Tansey, Lyons, Flynn; Cooke. Subs from: Holmes, Jackson, Kellerman, Popescu, Hodson, Glover, Kirkpatrick.
Hibs (4-2-3-1): Marciano; Gray, McGregor, Hanlon, Mackie; Bartley, Mallan; Slivka, Gauld, Horgan; Kamberi. Subs from: Dabrowski, Whittaker, Nelom, Omeonga, F Murray, Block, Stirling, Gullan, Allan, Shaw.
Magic number - 2
The number of games Hibs have won in their last 14 matches.
Florian Kamberi will enjoy the tussle with Jack Baird as he looks to fire Hibs to victory in Paisley.
St Mirren danger men
Kyle McAllister grabbed the winner as Saints came from behind to dump Alloa out of the Scottish Cup last weekend, while on-loan Blackburn midfielder Brad Lyons comes with a good pedigree.
Former St Mirren youngster Stevie Mallan is leading his Hibs team-mates in terms of total shots and shots on target. The ex-Barnsley midfielder has had 44 efforts on goal this season, with 16 of them on target. Winger Daryl Horgan is out in front in terms of crosses, with 47 deliveries to his name.
Steven McLean is the man in the middle for Sunday’s match. He is assisted by Douglas Ross and David Doig, with Gavin Duncan on fourth-official duties.