First Team

Match Preview: St Mirren v Hearts

6th August 2021

Hearts face St Mirren in Saturday’s cinch Premiership match at the SMISA Stadium.

 

Here’s all you need to know heading into the game…

 

Form

It’s played five, won five for the Jambos. Four Premier Sports Cup wins were followed by last weekend’s superb 2-1 Premiership win over Celtic.

St Mirren have played one game less due to a Covid postponement, their record reads as won three and drawn one. Three Premier Sports Cup victories, against Dunfermline, Stenhousemuir and Partick Thistle, saw the Buddies top their group. They opened their top flight campaign with a  2-2 draw at Dundee last week.

The Jambos have won two from two away from home so far and are unbeaten on the road since March in a total of five games.

St Mirren’s last home defeat was in May last season, which was four games ago. Since then they’ve won three, two of which were in this campaign.

Which leads us to…

 

Head to head

Jambos, look away now. Hearts haven’t won a league game in Paisley since 2010, though there was a Scottish Cup win at St Mirren in 2012.

Since that last league win the two sides have met eight times in the west, resulting in four St Mirren wins and four draws.

Looking at the last two seasons that both sides were in the same league, it’s been honours even; two wins apiece and two draws.

 

Goals

Hearts have hit 10 goals in five games, conceding only once. Liam Boyce and Gary Mackay-Steven tops the charts with three goals each. Jamie Walker is Hearts’ current top scorer against St Mirren with two strikes to his name.

Our hosts have scored eight goals in four games and have conceded three, with Jamie McGrath and Curtis Main both sitting on two goals.

 

Milestones

At 21 goals in 44 appearances, Boyce is on course for a one in two strike rate. An appearance for Craig Halkett will take him to 70 in a maroon shirt, while Michael Smith hurtles towards 150 with what would be his 143rd appearance.

 

What have they said?

Jim Goodwin: "I am absolutely delighted that Hearts are back in the league. There is no doubt that they are a well-run club. Everyone knows the circumstances which surrounded their relegation a couple of seasons ago. It wasn't ideal for anybody, I don't think it sat well with anybody in the game, unfortunately it was a difficult decision that had to be made at the time.

“But I am pleased that Robbie was able to get the job done last season. They won the league comfortably which I don't think was a great surprise to anybody when you saw the strength in depth they had available and they are definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with this season.

“There is no doubt in my mind. So they are undoubtedly a Premiership club and deserve to be back in the big league and we are pleased to have them back there but would certainly like to upset a few of them at the weekend."

 

Robbie Neilson: “It was obviously a good result on Saturday night but as soon as we came back in on Monday it was all eyes on St Mirren. We know that, to be honest, it’ll probably be a harder game because it’s an away game for us. We’re going down there and I think it’s a long time since Hearts have won at St Mirren so we need to be ready for it.

“For a lot of the players it’s the realisation that they’ve maybe never been in the Premiership with Hearts or never seen Hearts in the Premiership, so it’s the realisation for them that we are expected to go win week in, week out in the top flight.

“No matter if we’re at home or away, we’re expected to win. We go to St Mirren who have a couple of really good seasons and good stability under Jim Goodwin, but we know we want to go there and get three points. We have to back up the game we played on Saturday with the same level of performance and commitment.

“We know that last season was a good one for them. For us, we need to go there and win if we have aspirations of being where we want to be at the end of the season.”

 

How can I follow the game?

No away tickets are available for this match.

Hearts fans can buy PPV from St Mirren to watch the game live at a cost of £12.50 by clicking here.

Hearts TV International subcribers will receive llve video coverage as part of their package, while live audio commentary is available inside the UK & Ireland. Both start at 2.15pm UK time, subscribe by clicking here.

Hearts' Twitter account - @JamTarts - will provide team news, live match updates and all the post-match reaction at full time.

Head on over to Instagram - @heartofmidlothianfc - for exclusive photo and video content throughout the day.