Date: 19th September 2008 at 7:04am
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Hibs face a tough test at New Douglas Park where they face in form SPL new boys Hamilton Accies.

The Lanarkshire club have surprised many with their start to the League campaign and showed last week they are no pushovers by defeating Aberdeen at Pittodrie 2-1 to register their first victory there in some 77 years.

Accies like to play neat attractive football and Hibs will have to produce a good performance if they wish to return with the three points.

The Hibees secured their first win in three last week when they were slightly fortunate to beat Dundee United 2-1 at Easter Road last weekend but Mixu Paatelainen was pleased to see striker Steven Fletcher return to goalscoring form by scoring the two goals.

Vital Quotes:

Mixu Paatelainen has praised the Accies performances and believes manager Billy Reid deserves great credit for their bright start.

‘This is a very difficult game, the spirit Hamilton are playing with at the moment is fantastic,’ said the Hibs gaffer.

‘Their squad is more or less the same as last season and they are feeling high after winning the First Division.

‘If you want to win the division, you need to pass the ball and do it in the proper manner. They certainly do that.

‘Billy Reid is an enthusiastic manager and has them playing in a very solid manner in terms of attacking as a team.

‘Richard Offiong gets plenty of support from midfield as was shown with the second goal against Aberdeen. And when they defend they have nine players, plus a goalkeeper.

‘So it won’t be easy. We must be on our toes and at our best to win the game.’

Hamilton Team News:

Hamilton have more or less a fully fit squad to face Hibs with Martin Canning set to face his former club for the first time since his deadline day move to the Accies.

Player to watch: James McArthur

Hamilton youngster McArthur has been tipped to have an extremely bright future in the game and it will be interesting to see him in the flesh.

Hibernian Team News:

Hibs are without the suspended Sol Bamba after his red card last week while Irishman Alan O’Brien again looks likely to miss out through injury.

Young Kevin McCann is still injured whilst Uruguayan Fabian Yantorno may make an appearance on the bench.

Frenchman Steven Thicot could replace Bamba after being a sub against Dundee United following his return from injury whilst Derek Riordan could be set to make his first competitive start for the club since his return to the club.

Player to watch: Steven Fletcher

Back in form as he bagged a double against the Arabs last week, the Accies rearguard will have to be on their toes against the Scotland international.

Match Facts & Stats

This is the first meeting between the sides since Hibs First Division title winning season in 1998/99.

Match Prediction:

Both sides had terrific results last weekend but Hibs can sneak it if they show the same determination as last week.

2-0 Hibs – Fletcher first scorer.

Next Fixtures:

Hibs face Rangers in a live Setanta clash next Sunday (2:00pm kick off.