Saturday, January 29, 2011

SPL Today: Double Up

Just two SPL games this afternoon with four clubs involved in the league cup semi-finals and Dundee United playing Hibs tomorrow.

What, I ask, is the point of playing the League Cup semi-finals at the weekend, at the same time as SPL games?

Seems a bit strange.

Anyhows, to the action:

Hamilton v Kilmarnock

Hamilton are still rooted to the bottom of the table. It could be that there tactic is to stay exactly where they are and sit back and watch as Hibs come careering past them and into the First Division.

But they’re form has shown signs of picking up. They’ve drawn with St Mirren, Motherwell, Celtic and Inverness in recent weeks. A 4-0 defeat at Rangers aside they’re not losing a lot of goals. The key for Billy Reid would be to find a goalscorer. Will MickaĆ«l Antoine-Curier fill that role? If he can then Hamilton might just be giving Hibs even more to worry about.

Kilmarnock have developed the unpleasant habit of losing late goals. They lost to two goals in the last 20 minutes against Hearts and drew with both St Johnstone and Dundee United to goals in the last couple of minutes. It’s a pattern that Mixu Paatelainen will be hoping doesn’t become a habit.

Kilmarnock’s new signing from AC Milan might feature today. I never thought I’d write that sentence. Has Mixu uncovered another Eremenko type gem in Willy Aubameyang?

Despite Kilmarnock becoming the SPL pin-up team of the season I have a feeling that Hamilton will take advantage of Hibs not playing to get something here.

A rare home win.

Hearts v St Johnstone

Home comforts are probably just what Hearts need after their uncomfortable night at Celtic Park on Wednesday.

But St Johnstone in winning the cup game here that they’re more than capable of holding their own.

It’s for others to worry about the ramifications of Hearts’ defeat in midweek. They just need to get back to winning games.

Kevin Kyle might miss out a game which could cause Hearts problems. There is a big squad at Tynecastle but the players at the fringes don’t suit Jim Jefferies’ requirements.

Two wins and two draws in the league mean St Johnstone are unbeaten in 2011. Games in hand over Motherwell and Inverness mean the top six is looking vulnerable to a Perthshire charge.

Despite that I think Hearts will have point to prove today. And they’ll prove that point by taking three points. Home win.

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