Match Preview: St Mirren (H)22 June 2023
The Jambos remain in third spot but are now under increased pressure from the chasing pack after disappointing results in some tough matches of late.
At Tynecastle however, the men in maroon have been excellent this season and will be hoping to continue that good home form against the Buddies.
Barrie McKay was the match-winner when the sides last met on a Friday night in Gorgie, whereas the spoils were shared in Paisley in the other meeting between the teams.
St Mirren have not won at Tynecastle since 2013 but know three points on Saturday will go a long way to securing a top-six finish.
As for Hearts, three points are a must ahead of next weekend’s Edinburgh derby at Easter Road.
Ones to watch:
It’s a testament to how well Stephen Robinson has St Mirren playing that opposition sides know exactly what to expect from St Mirren, yet still find them so difficult to play against.
The Buddies don’t tend to give many goals away and a back three of Marcus Fraser, Joe Shaughnessy and Charles Dunne will be hoping to restrict Hearts to very little in the way of opportunities.
In midfield, Keanu Baccus, Alex Gogic and Mark O’Hara provide plenty of grit and energy, whereas on the wings, the likes of Scott Tanser, Ryan Strain and Thierry Small can get forward and deliver plenty of crosses for the likes of Curtis Main and Tony Watt.
St Mirren are often happy to let their opponents have the ball, but they are very direct and dangerous from set pieces, which is something Hearts will need to be wary of.
Hearts will give Zander Clark every opportunity to make Saturday’s match after he picked up a knock at Rugby Park last time out. Long-term absentees Beni Baningime, Liam Boyce, Craig Halkett, Craig Gordon and Gary Mackay-Steven remain sidelined.
“We’re back at Tynecastle, where we’ve got a great record this season. The atmosphere will be good, and we’ll be looking to get a win so can get up and going again.
“We’ve got two home games and a derby before the split. We want to take maximum points and hopefully, we’ll be sitting in a totally different position. There’s no point looking back the way: we want to go into this next period positively and make sure we get a result.”