Date: 16th February 2018 at 4:36pm
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Hibs will be hoping to take their first point of the season from Saturday’s visitors to Easter Road.

Derek McInnes Aberdeen side have been a bit of a bogey for the Hibees in recent times and thus far have won both encounters on Premiership duty.

Last time out saw the Dons record a thoroughly deserved 4-1 victory when they destroyed a Hibs team who barely showed up.

The first encounter of the season also saw the Pittodrie outfit prevail thanks to a Gary Mackay Steven strike but they had to withstand a barrage from Hibs in the second half and were fortunate to record a 1-0 win and had a less lenient referee than Steven McLean been in charge could well have ended up without their full quota on the pitch come full time.

Hibs will be hoping to reproduce their performance at Ibrox a fortnight ago when they registered a second victory of the campaign in Govan.

With recent signings Florian Kamberi, Scott Allan and Jamie MacLean all looking the part, the home side should have nothing to fear against the side sitting second in the Premiership.

The match itself is likely to see a near capacity crowd at Easter Road with only a few hundred tickets remaining available for home supporters.

Aberdeen have sold their entire 1900 allocation.

The match will be preceded by a minutes applause for Liam Miller, the former Hibee having sadly lost his brave battle against cancer last week.

Vital Quotes:

Neil Lennon: “It`s fantastic that it`s near enough a sell-out which is brilliant for the club and shows how much progress the team has made.

“We`re coming off the back of a fantastic win at Ibrox and we`re playing against a team who are in great form, scoring a lot of goals and who have probably given us our biggest test of the season outside of the old firm.

“It`s not ideal to be out of the cup but with the run of injuries that we`ve had it`s been beneficial in terms of getting some players back fit and into training. It`s been a good week and I`m looking forward to the match.

“It`s a real tough game but a great game to look forward to. We`d like to make inroads on second and third place and this is a game that will have a bearing on that.

“I`m delighted, really delighted. Kamberi has been a big plus, Jamie is really starting to find his feet now and Scott Allan had a fantastic second debut at Ibrox.

“Rherras is starting to get up to speed as well and Cammy Bell has come in who`s a very experienced goalkeeper so I`m really pleased with the quality and experience that we added in January.”

Derek McInnes: “I think there`s a lot of football for a lot of teams in certain areas of the league. In our area of the league second spot`s still up for grabs and the European spots. Hearts will be pushing as well as Hibs, Rangers and ourselves to get into that and there`s still so many points to play for and 36 points from our point of view.

“Whether we win, lose or draw the game it won`t be any real bearing on the rest of the campaign, but if we can get an eleven-point gap between us and Hibs I`d love that at this stage of the season.

“The intention is always to win and although it doesn`t always turn out that way we always intend to win. It`s a different level of opponent every week and I`d say Hibs are right up there in terms of league games, but we`ve won there already this season. We`ve got a decent record at Easter Road in my time here as well.

“When you play teams in and around you, it`s important you get the points for yourself, but you can also inflict a bit of damage on them. They`ll be saying that exact same thing.”


Hibernian Team News:

Hibs will see the return of defensive stalwart Darren McGregor through injury and hope to have his defensive sidekick Paul Hanlon fit enough to start against the Dons.

Captain David Gray and Steven Whittaker continue to miss out.

Player to watch: Scott Allan

Allan was a revelation during his first spell at Easter Road and started off his second spell by influencing proceedings at Ibrox.

His passing and movement first half in the 2-1 win was a joy to behold and there’s times when players just suit certain clubs and it appears Scotty finds Easter Road his playing home.

Aberdeen Team News:

Captain Graeme Shinnie is suspended for the visitors who also have Joe Lewis ruled out through injury.

Freddie Woodman, signed on loan from Newcastle and widely tipped as a future England no.1 continues to deputise for Lewis.

Player to watch: Niall McGinn

The Northern Irishman returned to Pittodrie following a short lived spell in South Korea and has recently shown signs of returning to his best form.

Always a danger with the ball at his feet, Hibs need to keep an eye on the tricky forward.

Match Facts & Stats

Remarkably, Hibs haven’t beat The Dons at Easter Road on league duty since October 2009 and haven’t conceded since 2011.

Hibs did however score a 2-0 victory over The Reds on League Cup duty in 2015 with the match best remembered for Dominique Malonga’s wonderful run and finish in the dying minutes.

Ref Watch:

Andrew Dallas referees the game and he’ll need to be on his toes if Aberdeen are as physical as they were last time out at Easter Road.

Match Prediction:

It’s a tough one to call and expect it to be tight. A draw would suit neither and one goal is likely to separate the sides if there’s a winner.

Hibs 2 Aberdeen 2

Next Fixtures:

Hibs travel to in form Kilmarnock on Premiership duty next weekend.

 

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