St Johnstone v Hibs: Match preview and probable line-ups
Victory for Hibs in Perth tonight would take the Easter Road side into third, even if just overnight until Aberdeen take on Dundee tomorrow.
Hibs go into the game unbeaten in five, with four wins and one draw. Strikeforce Jamie Maclaren and Flo Kamberi will be looking to make a mark on the game; Maclaren seeking to force Australia boss Bert van Marwijk into a rethink after he axed the on-loan Darmstadt striker from the national squad to play two friendly matches while Kamberi has vowed to honour his recently deceased grandfather Nrec by getting on the scoresheet this evening.
Neil Lennon, who will watch this game from the stand after being hit with a three-match ban for his outburst during the 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock, is without long-term absentees Ross Laidlaw and David Gray, while Vykintas Slivka (calf) and Brandon Barker (hamstring) are also missing.
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Aside from the injured quartet, Hibs have a full squad to choose from, and will likely stick with the same starting line-up that faced Hearts.
St Johnstone are without the suspended Jason Kerr, so Aaron Comrie will likely start in the right back berth. Stefan Scougall is still out injured but Tommy Wright has a full squad to choose from otherwise.
Steven MacLean is likely to partner Chris Kane in attack; the latter scored twice and will be looking to get on the scoresheet again against Hibs, while Kyle McClean could make an appearance off the bench again.
Four Hibs players that started in the 2-1 loss to the Saints in mid-November - David Gray, Brandon Barker, Simon Murray and Anthony Stokes - won’t feature, either due to injury or having moved on from the club, while Marvin Bartley, who also started that game, will likely be among the subs.
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Last five meetings: Hibs 1-2 St Johnstone; St Johnstone 1-1 Hibs; Hibs 2-1 St Johnstone; St Johnstone 2-0 Hibs; Hibs 0-0 St Johnstone.
Likely St Johnstone team (4-4-2): Mannus; Comrie, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Tanser; Alston, Millar, Davidson, Craig; MacLean, Kane. Subs from: Clark, Gordon, Williams, Wotherspoon, McClean, Willock, McCann, Johnstone.
Likely Hibs team (4-1-2-1-2): Marciano; Ambrose, McGregor, Hanlon, Stevenson; McGeouch, Boyle, McGinn, S Allan; Kamberi, Maclaren. Subs from: Bell, Whittaker, Porteous, Rherras, Bartley, Swanson, Shaw.
Referee: John Beaton
Odds: St Johnstone 17/5 Draw 9/4 Hibs 51/50 (Odds correct at the time of writing)