Friday, 20th October

Saints should be close to full strength as they take on Hearts this Saturday at their temporary home, BT Murrayfield.

A good Perth support is expected inside the 67,000 seater stadium as Tommy Wright’s side look to hit back after their 3-0 defeat to Rangers last Friday.

Tommy has urged his players to learn from mistakes that have been made over the last few fixtures, saying: “We expect to win every game so how we do that is to be a little better than we have been.

“When we get into good positions we have to be individually better and we have to be individually better in certain defensive situations which we haven’t been in recent games.”

With only five points from their last eighteen, Saints have slipped down to fifth in the Scottish Premiership table but that still signifies a solid start to the campaign and a win tomorrow would hopefully help to regain lost ground on Rangers and Motherwell who currently stand third and fourth respectively.

After a slow start to the season, Hearts have found form in recent weeks under new manager Craig Levein and with only one defeat in their last five outings, the Jambos have found their way into seventh place, just a point shy of their city rivals Hibernian.

In terms of team news, Michael O’Halloran is available again after being ineligible to play against Rangers and the manager has also provided updates on the overall status of the squad:

“We got a good week’s training. Said Wright.

“Obviously, Steven [Anderson] and Richard [Foster] are still suspended. Brian [Easton] got a knock on his knee but hopefully should be fine.

“Blair [Alston] came through 45 minutes in the under 20s game and looked really good and Michael [O’Halloran] has trained all week so those two will come back into the fold and give me a couple more options.

“Training has gone well and we’re looking forward to the game.”

Heading to Murrayfield, Saints can be buoyed by the fact that they had a great record against Hearts last season. In the pair’s four meetings in 2016/7, Saints ran out 1-0 winners on three separate occasions with the other fixture ending in a 2-2 draw.

Wright is confident that his players will live up the challenge of playing in such a big arena: “It’s a great stadium and although it might feel a little strange being around a third full it will still be a great experience for the players and fans.

“The pitch is supposed to be excellent so there will be no complaints about that. We’re looking forward to going there and hopefully getting the win.”

Match Preview by Gary Petersen