James McFadden gave the Kilmarnock defence a torrid time on Saturday but he starts a four game suspension. Andy McLaren can be a creative force for the home side but he is also out. Defender Stevie Hammell is also missing.
It would have been nice to keep the same team which so comfortably eased us through in the cup but that has not been possible. Suspensions leave us with awkward gaps to fill, particularly at left back. Dougie Ramsay maybe recalled to right back and the rest of the defence can all move fifteen yards to the left. That would leave David Partridge at left back with Martyn Corrigan joining Kinniburgh in the middle. The alternative could be playing Tony Vaughan in the middle but that’s only if he has signed in time.
David Clarkson showed enough on Saturday to keep his place even if selection problems did not already guarantee it. Dirk Lehmann will still be out with a hamstring injury which means that another youngster will be given a chance. This opportunity is likely to go to new signing Steven Craig with Iain Russell being next in line. A more direct replacement for Lehmann would be Darren Jack but the chances of him starting are slim.
Rumours coming out of Kilmarnock suggest that Gordon Marshall may be missing and replaced by Colin Meldrum. Whether or not this will make a big difference is up for debate with Marshall having lost the magnificent form of a few seasons ago.
We won the match on Saturday because we were hungrier than Kilmarnock and we managed to stop them playing in the midfield. The same desire will still be there this Wednesday but a lot will depend on how we react to missing Hammell and McFadden. Kilmarnock will be up for a bit of revenge and even with our good Rugby Park record we’ll be up against it. A point would be a satisfactory result but we won’t get it – we’ll lose 2-1.
Checkout our record v Kilmarnock