Hibs head to the west coast this weekend looking to continue their recent decent run which has saw them go five matches unbeaten and gain a foothold at the top of the Scottish Championship where they lie four points clear of nearest challengers Dundee United.
They’ll face a tough test of their title credentials against a Dumbarton side who have defeated last season’s runners up Falkirk and the side currently lying in second, Dundee United, in their previous two home matches, results which helped boss Stevie Aitken and and midfielder Mark Docherty to the respective player and manager of the month awards for December.
Neil Lennon’s side aim to build on their recent run which culminated in the Hibees best performance of the season against Dundee United in last week’s 3-0 win but many teams struggle at the tiny 2000 seater Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium and it took a Jason Cummings penalty to separate the sides in the previous encounter there this season.
Hibs assistant Garry Parker: “It was a great result against Dundee United, but this is a different type of game going away to Dumbarton.
“Conditions might be bad, it`s a small pitch and they`ll be in our faces. It`s up to us to plough on and get the three points.”
Hibees midfielder Dylan McGeouch:”We don`t want to undo the good work that we`ve done by dropping points away to Dumbarton this weekend. We need to build on that result.
“The next game is the most important one, so we`ll be looking at getting three points and moving onto the week after.”
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Dumbarton Team News:
Dumbarton have lost winger Willie Gibson who netted the winner against Hibs a couple of years ago at the same venue and will also be without Scott Brown who has returned to parent club St Johnstone after featuring 18 times for Sons this season.
Former Hearts striker Christian Nade is in line to make a second home debut having appeared from the bench during the 2-1 defeat last weekend to Morton, days after re-signing for the club from Stranraer.
Sam Stanton, currently on loan from Hibs, is ineligible.
Player to watch: Darren Barr
Another former Jambo, the experienced defender usually ups his performance levels against Hibs.
Hibernian Team News:
Hibs are sure to welcome John McGinn back into the starting line up following his return from the bench against Dundee United and there could also be returns for goalkeeper Ofir Marciano and midfield dynamo Fraser Fyvie.
Paul Hanlon is set to miss out through a recurring injury with Liam Fontaine likely to deputise.
Kris Commons loan spell with the club ends on Sunday so Dumbarton could be his final game for Hibs unless an extension can be worked out with Celtic.
Player to watch: Jason Cummings
The 21 year old striker has worked through his bad patch and having netted 4 in 4 games he’ll be looking to add to his season tally of 12 against the part timers.
Match Facts & Stats
The home side have won 3 of the last 5 encounters at their home stadium although they’ve not won at Easter Road since 1984.
Nick Walsh is the official for the match and he caused contreversy earlier this season for sending off Hibs Marvin Bartley in a match against Ayr- a decision later rescinded but the red card played a large part in ending the Hibees losing their 100% League record having been leading comfortably until the referee’s mistake which saw The Honest Men steal two late goals for a fortuitous 2-1 victory.
Beating your nearest challengers handsomely should be a huge confidence booster but there’s no point recording a great result if you slip up against one of the minnows of the Scottish Championship so I’ll give Hibs the benefit of the doubt that they’ll show the proper application to steamroller the Sons.
Dumbarton 0 Hibs 2
Hibs travel to the home of their city rivals Hearts next weekend for a David v Goliath Scottish Cup tie against non league Bonnyrigg Rose in their first defence since that glorious day on May 21st 2016.