Preview- Hibs (h)

Last updated : 16 November 2006 By Firparkcorner

Hibs have picked up again in recent weeks and have moved from 8th to 5th in the table. They will be looking at what's above them (Rangers – rank, Hearts – haemorrhaging, Aberdeen – awful) and see no reason why they can't push on and fight for the UEFA spot or even the Champions League place. When they play well they are sensational and we will need to concentrate on shutting them down. Zemmama may be doubtful, which is a boost, but the pace of their play and the quality of their passing will still pose us problems.

The Goalscorers
Maurice may be tempted to change to five in midfield, copying what Butcher did with reasonable success in his last game against Hibs. That allow us to crowd them out in midfield and that may be our best chance again. We're certainly not going to outplay them so adopting a more rugged approach may prove sensible. Craigan should recover to play and another boost is that Elliot is likely to miss out. That's harsh but given his performances in claret and amber there is no point in dancing around the truth. We need players that want to be at Fir Park and are committed to our cause – it is apparent that Elliot is not.

The temptation to recall Smith and McBride and Meldrum and McGarry must also be strong. Meldrum did well in settling the ship but Smith is the better 'keeper and now that we're winless in five the case could be made for a recall. More likely is that Meldrum will get another week or two but any more slip-ups could see a change. That point may already have arrived on the right wing. McBride was rightly dropped but McGarry, for his endeavour, will never be a starting player for an SPL side. McBride, if we can get him performing again, is not only capable of that but he has the potential to be one of the better right midfielders in the league. He needs a proper chance again sometime; there is no reason for it not to be now.

So, there is a lot for Mo to think about and we've not even touched on bringing in Fitzpatrick or the possibility of McDonald returning (maybe even to partner Foran instead of Clarkson?). There are lots of options available to us going into this one and if we pick the right team with the right tactics and the right attitude there is no reason we can't fight our way to a 1-1 draw.

Late Luck of the Irish Helps the ‘Well - last time Hibs were at Fir Park