SATURDAY’S a big day for Greg as his side face Hibs for a place in the League Cup semi-finals.
Saints-daft Greg isn’t confident about his men making it through to face Ross County or Celtic and here are his thoughts.
St Johnstone v Hibs (3pm, Tynecastle)
Only in Scotland would the authorities deem it acceptable to play a cup semi-final at a venue where one club would be allocated 75 per cent of the available seats.
Well that’s exactly what has happened here! Due to “safety and segregation concerns” the Main Stand tickets that were due to be allocated to St Johnstone have been handed to Hibs.
This means Hibs will have three full stands while we have just one! That’s right, cup semi, neutral venue (well, a few miles from Easter road) yet Tyncastle will be 75 per cent green and white! An advantage, you are bloody right it is.
The bookies have Hibs as big as 8-5 for this game and for me is too big not to back. I’ll talk about us first.
It’s been a grim couple of months, flying until the start of December but since then it’s no wins and just one goal in six matches – that came last week against Celtic.
Michael O’Halloran came back in last week and did well at Celtic and that’s a huge plus for us given he is our main threat in terms of creating chances.
Our issue this year has been defensively, just four clean sheets in almost 28 matches. Hibs have had a pretty good season in the Championship and Alan Stubbs has recruited extremely well during January, Anthony Stokes being one of them on loan from Celtic.
Had we been in better shape coming into this I would have fancied us but I can’t get away from the fact this is essentially a home tie for Hibs.
Yeah, it’s about how the teams perform but there is no getting away from the fact Hibs will get a lift from having 12,000 fans filling three stands.
This is the third time we’ve played a League Cup semi-final at Tynecastle in recent years (lost 3-1 to Hibs in 2007 and lost 4-0 to Aberdeen 2014).
A combination of us being poor defensively, losing our scoring touch, Hibs playing well and recruiting well and the fact it’s a home game for Hibs puts the odds in the favour of them in my eyes. I reckon 8-5 is a massive price
Long-term followers of the site will know the four or five times I’ve backed us to lose has usually resulted in us winning (Rangers, Rosenborg, Lucerne, Aberdeen) however the only time I did get it right was when Aberdeen dished out a 4-0 hammering against us at Tynecastle in the 2014 semi-final.
I’ll be at Tynecastle on Saturday roaring on the famous Perth St Johnstone – I’m using my head though and backing Hibs.
Hibs v St Johnstone
Hibs (8-5, Betfred) NAP
Swindon v Barnsley over 2.5 goals
(7-10, BetVictor) NB
Bolton v Leeds over 2.5 goals