MATCH PREVIEW | Hamilton Academical vs St Johnstone

Friday 8 December

A trip to South Lanarkshire is in store for Saints this Saturday as they take on Hamilton Accies in the latest round of Scottish Premiership fixtures.

Saints will be determined to strike back from last Saturday’s disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Kilmarnock and return into the league’s top six. One win in eight games has seen Saints slip to seventh in the table, just one better off than their upcoming opponents.

A stern test lies ahead for Saints as they come up against an Accies side that are undefeated in six matches. An impressive November, which included an away victory over Rangers, saw Hamilton boss Martin Canning and winger David Templeton pick up the Premiership’s respective manager and player of the month awards.

The Accies fixture sees the continuation of a hectic Christmas period for Saints. This Saturday will be the first of six games in the space of three weeks. The run of games includes back-to-back crunch ties with Aberdeen and Rangers and ends with a Tayside derby against Dundee on the 30th of the month. Squad rotation and fitness will no doubt be crucial if Saints are to keep within touching distance of those above.

Tommy is looking to have a wider selection of players to choose from this weekend as a handful of the squad have tried to shrug off a sickness bug. Steven Anderson, Joe Shaughnessy and Blair Alston have been the players mainly affected but should hopefully be raring to go come 3pm on Saturday. Michael O’Halloran should also return after missing out against Kilmarnock.

The last time Saints and Accies clashed in November, Saints showed terrific character to come from behind and snatch a late 2-1 victory at McDiarmid Park. It is that sort of desire and drive that Tommy Wright will be seeking from his players this coming Saturday at the SuperSeal Stadium.

MATCH PREVIEW BY GARY PETERSEN