MATCH PREVIEW | Hibernian vs St Johnstone

Friday 17th November

With the latest international break behind us, Saints will be aiming to climb back inside the Premiership’s top six this weekend as they take on Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday afternoon.

Having taken only one point from their last possible eighteen, the players are eager to get over their recent slump and get back within touching distance of the top four.

Meanwhile, Neil Lennon’s Hibs side are in a purple patch as of late. Four wins on the bounce has seen them rise to third in the league’s standings.

The extended time off over the international break has allowed for the squad to recover. As such, Tommy Wright expects to have a near full strength team to choose from in the capital:

“Injuries wise, we’ve only got Easty [Brian Easton] as a definite non-starter and he’ll be out for at least another four weeks.

“Stefan [Scougall] trained on Tuesday which was a bonus while Chris Millar, Murray Davidson, Michael O’Halloran and young Callum Hendry have all trained.”

Thanks, in part, to their pre-season transfers, Hibs have hit the ground running since returning to Scotland’s top flight and Wright is well aware that Saturday’s match will be a formidable task to try and overcome.

“We’re expecting a tough game” said Tommy.

“They’ve recruited really well in the summer and brought a bit of quality into the league. You look at the players that they’re able to go and sign - Ambrose, Stokes. Players who have won league titles, cups and are international players.

“They’re a tough side, particularly at home. They’ve got a lot of pace in the wide areas but we’ve done okay against them and, like every game, we always believe we can win the next game and this is no different.”

The past few outings have seen Tommy ring the changes throughout the Saints squad. Fresh from winning the Alan Storrar Player of the Month Award, defender Aaron Comrie has been showing his appreciation for more game time. However, like the rest of the Saints players, his mind is focused on getting through this rough period in results:

“It’s been nice to get recognised and I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve played. I’ve played more minutes than I expected so it’s great for me.

“Everyone seems in good spirits seems positive and has enjoyed the time off and this week of training.

“We’re itching to get back. It seems like an age since the Celtic match so everyone is dying to play and turn that form around.”

Both teams shared the spoils in their first encounter this season. Only a Paul Paton own goal secured the Hibees a 1-1 draw at McDiarmid Park in early September. This bad fortune will undoubtedly encourage Saints to strive for more this weekend at Easter Road.

MATCH PREVIEW BY GARY PETERSEN

Tickets for tomorrow’s match remain available from the McDiarmid Park ticket office until 5pm today. Fans can also purchase tickets at Easter Road Stadium from 1pm tomorrow at the South Stand ticket pod – please note that these sales are strictly cash only – no credit card facility.

Bus tickets still on sale : £9 (departs McDiarmid 12.30pm)