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Oct 27, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone
Gordon (11')
Davidson (56'), May (67'), McCart (69'), Gordon (83')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Ginnelly (40')
Souttar (35'), Devlin (86')

Preview: St Johnstone vs. Hearts - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: St Johnstone vs. Hearts - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Scottish Premiership clash between St Johnstone and Hearts, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Hearts travel to St Johnstone on Wednesday, as they look to make a return to winning ways and maintain their position in the top two of the Scottish Premiership table.

Robbie Neilson's side have now played out back-to-back draws, dropping three points behind league leaders Rangers as a result, while their visitors sit down in 10th spot after consecutive defeats.

Match preview

After a difficult start to the season, with the opening five league games producing just three points, St Johnstone managed to find their feet and posted their first two victories of the campaign in a run of three matches.

Stevie May fired Callum Davidson's side to a 1-0 away win over Aberdeen, before they bounced back from a loss to Hibernian with a comfortable 3-1 victory at home to Dundee, with Chris Kane hitting a first-half brace.

However, the Saints now come into Wednesday's game on the back of consecutive defeats, having first been thrashed 3-0 by Livingston on home turf.

Davidson's men then faced the tough task of a trip to title-chasing Celtic on Saturday, and they were unable to pick up an unlikely result and eventually fell to a 2-0 defeat.

Having now collected just nine points from the first 10 league games, with only basement side Ross County suffering more than their five losses, the Saints will be desperate to quickly improve and climb away from the bottom of the table, but they face a tough test against a high-flying Hearts side.

Following their promotion back from the second tier last season, Hearts enjoyed a seamless transition into life back in the top flight, defeating Celtic on the opening day of the season and earning 10 points from their first four games to top the division.

While they have now drawn four of their last six matches in the Scottish Premiership, Robbie Neilson's men stand as the only unbeaten team in the league, and they sit on 20 points, three fewer than defending champions Rangers.

The Jambos met Rangers at Ibrox two weeks ago, and a 90th-minute Craig Halkett equaliser saw them leave with a creditable point following a 1-1 draw.

They may have been slightly more disappointed with Saturday's result though, as they were held at home to Dundee with Jason Cummings drawing the visitors level in the final 10 minutes after John Souttar had put Hearts ahead.

While he will serve a touchline ban, Neilson will watch from the stands on Wednesday as his side look to continue their strong start to the campaign and make a return to winning ways to keep pace with Steven Gerrard's men at the top of the league table.

St Johnstone Scottish Premiership form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

St Johnstone form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Hearts Scottish Premiership form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Team News

Despite a 2-0 defeat last time out, St Johnstone are unlikely to panic after a tough clash with Celtic, and they should maintain a similar squad for Wednesday's game.

Experienced midfielder Craig Bryson should continue to handle business in the engine room alongside Cameron MacPherson.

Chris Kane, who hit a brace in their victory over Dundee, will fight to keep his place at the top end of the pitch, while Stevie May also has two league goals to his name this season and will be pushing for a start.

The Hearts line will be led by marksman Liam Boyce, whose tally of six league goals this season is not topped by anyone in the Scottish Premiership.

Midfielder Beni Baningime has impressed since arriving from Everton in the summer, and he should again feature alongside Cameron Devlin, who recently arrived from the Australian A-League.

Neilson will stick with a back three containing captain John Souttar, while Bristol City loanee Taylor Moore will battle to displace Craig Halkett or Stephen Kingsley.

St Johnstone possible starting lineup:
Clark; Gordon, Ambrose, McCart; Brown, Bryson, MacPherson, Booth; Wotherspoon; May, Kane

Hearts possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Halkett, Souttar, Kingsley; Smith, Devlin, Baningime, Cochrane; Ginnelly, Boyce, Woodburn

We say: St Johnstone 1-3 Hearts

Following the disappointment of Saturday's result, we back Hearts to get over the line and return to winning ways on Wednesday.

Neilson has a squad full of talent at his disposal, and they should have enough to outclass the hosts.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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