Hibs head into Saturday’s clash with Kilmarnock looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s CIS Cup defeat at home to Motherwell.
As has been well documented Hibs came up against an outstanding team performance against the Lanarkshire side although their own standards were much below the required level expected.
John Collins has told of his belief Hibs can get back to winning ways against Kilmarnock albeit the visitors are also smarting from a midweek defeat.
He said: “Like ourselves Kilmarnock had high hopes of being back at Hampden for this season’s final so we have two disappointed teams going into tomorrow’s match determined to bounce back.
“Although we lost our unbeaten record we have yet to be defeated in the SPL and we know everyone will be looking to see how we react. But there’s a real anticipation about the place, the game can’t come quickly enough as far as the players are concerned.
“It’s a great opportunity to gain another three points.”
Hibernian Team News:
Hibs do have a couple of injury doubts. Steven Fletcher and Chris Hogg are both 50-50 chances. Fletch has a bruised shin following a challenge from Celtic skipper Stephen McManus whilst Hogg was subbed midway through the second half during the Motherwell defeat suffering from a hip problem.
Boss John Collins was impressed by Filipe Morais performance as a second half sub in the same match and has commented he should start. Darren McCormack or Torben Joneleit will replace Chris Hogg at centre half should the Englishman fail to make it. The former will make his SPL debut if selected.
Judging by JC’s rotation policy further changes should be expected following the Cup effort. Coming into contention for starts will be Kevin McCann, Merouanne Zemmama. Fletcher if fit and Alan O’Brien.
Player to watch: Rob Jones
The big Englishman hasn’t been playing well so far this season and is interesting clubs South of the Border. Has happy memories of Kilmarnock though and will be looking forward to playing the club he enjoyed the best moment of his career
Kilmarnock Team News:
Kilmarnock on the other hand are struggling to find 11 fully fit players for the match and even finished training an hour early on Thursday as a precaution against any further injuries.
Danny Invincibile, Ryan O’Leary, Eric Skora, Chad Harpur, Gary Wales, Garry Hay and Tim Clancy and Rhian Dodds are definitely out whilst target man Colin Nish and David Fernandez are both in the doubtful category.
Whilst performing reasonably well in the league the Ayrshire club lost to First Division Hamilton in midweek although given their injury problems it perhaps wasn’t that big a shock
Player to watch: Alan Combe
Lifelong Hibby Alan Combe may be busy due to the Killie injury crisis and will be hoping to be in top form.
Match Facts & Stats
Hibs are the only unbeaten club left in the SPL. A record they’ll be looking to keep against the Killie boys.
Due to Kilmarnock’s injury crisis it has to be a Hibs win. 2-1 Hibees
Sat October 6th – Rangers at Ibrox.