Tuesday, March 01, 2011

SPL Tonight: On The March

The SPL's March roars in like a lion with two games this evening.

Hamilton v Hibs

It wasn't all that long ago that this game loomed large in the minds of Hibs supporters as a crucial fixture in what was shaping up to be a protracted relegation battle.

And then Colin Calderwood's re-jigged side found their form and coasted through February undefeated, four wins and three clean sheets to the good.

Hamilton, meanwhile, remain rooted to the foot of the table. Saturday's draw with Dundee United offers some hope but they remain winless in 2011.

So although only St Mirren separate them in the table, this is a clash of two teams whose seasons have diverged in the last few weeks. Hamilton's game in hand looks fairly powerless in the face of Hibs' 13 point, 14 goal advantage.

All of which points, as I survey my half empty glass, to a classic night of disappointment for Hibs.

Despite that I've got to back the away win. Hibs suddenly look organised and spirited, the very qualities they have spent much of the season lacking.

Hamilton don't want for spirit or organisation but right now those battling characteristics don't look to be enough to overcome the frailties and limitations of a squad that appears destined for relegation.

So I back Hibs. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if Billy Reid's socks that prediction in the face.

Inverness v Dundee United

Given that both the teams remain very much in the rough and tumble of the top six battle they will both be smarting from the weekend's tribulations.

Current form suggests that an Inverness defeat at Easter Road is hardly a shock but United will be cursing their draw at Hamilton, a point won courtesy of a late equaliser, two points dropped courtesy of a sub par performance.

This is United's fourth away game on the bounce, a run that includes that draw with Hamilton, a goalless draw with St Johnstone and a defeat at Tynecastle.

Two points from nine does not indicate a team comfortable on their travels.

With only one in 2011 Inverness are a long way from replicating the form that saw them breeze through their re-introduction to top flight football at the start of the season.

So a studious examination of the form book tells me not to expect a classic in the Highlands tonight.

A low scoring draw.