Sunday, February 20, 2011

SPL Today: St Mirren v Hibs

The SPL scoots from the east end of Glasgow to Paisley when the Old Firm is done and dusted. How the other half live.

How the other have live.

Eleventh versus twelfth in the SPL sounds like a relegation clash and both teams will be treating it as such.

In the last few weeks though I think the fear of the drop has been lifted from these two sides. There seems to be an air of inevitability about Hamilton’s demise. You get the feeling that no matter how badly Hibs or St Mirren play, the Accies will contrive to play even worse.

Leith and Paisley are not havens of comfort and security just yet. But they are getting there.

Two wins on the trot for Colin Calderwood’s side has left some fans greedily eyeing the top six. Best not to break into a Usain Bolt impression before you’ve proved you can walk but the victories have brought a discernible lift to Easter Road.

St Mirren can also be reasonably happy with their last two outings, last week’s 3-3 draw at Inverness following a professional cup win against Ayr.

It says much about Danny Lennon’s season though that scoring three goals at home is enough to secure only a point.

When these two met a couple of weeks ago in Edinburgh there was some surprise at the lack of fight St Mirren showed while losing 2-0.

Lennon will be determined that the same doesn't happen today.

The blunt truth is that both these teams are in the bottom three for very good reason. Neither of them have been good enough this season.

Their aim has to be moving far enough away from Hamilton to guarantee safety and then consolidate with an eye on next season.

As for today?

It could be another tight one. I’m going to back Hibs. That might not be the neutral view but I’ve been impressed with a couple of Calderwood’s signings and it seems the players are learning how to play as a team again.

St Mirren shouldn’t lack in effort but I suspect a Hibs side with the confidence just starting to creep back will have enough to win it.

My prediction from last Sunday still stands: 2-0 away win.

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