Go in for the Killie

  • By: Gareth Friel
  • Last Updated: May 5 2014, 20:14 BST

Our expert Gareth Friel is keen on Kilmarnock gaining a vital victory over St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership.

Kris Boyd could help inspire Kilmanock to a vital win
Kris Boyd could help inspire Kilmanock to a vital win

The introduction of a relegation play-off from the Scottish Premiership has added a much-needed extra dimension to the league this season and with two games to go, four teams are still battling to avoid a shootout with a side from the Championship.

Kilmarnock, Ross County, Partick and Hibernian are all still in trouble with St Mirren securing their safety at the weekend.

That the Saints managed to do so with a win against County could, or at least should, play into Kilmarnock's hands.

Killie face the Paisley outfit on Wednesday night on the back of four successive defeats, the latest being a 5-0 thumping at Tynecastle against already-relegated Hearts.

If there's a winner between Ross County and Hibs on Tuesday, then they will be safe too - Killie fans must know they have to take three points from this one or they are almost certain to take the play-off spot.

With St Mirren safe and a number of players set to leave in the summer, Kilmarnock won't have a better chance to boost their survival hopes.

If they are to do that, Kris Boyd must be at the top of his game. Allan Johnston has relied heavily on the striker this season. Boyd has 20 goals to his name but just one in his last five - Killie need that to change on Wednesday.

Killie were dire against Hearts on Sunday. But it's worth remembering that St Mirren's good run to safety has been built on solid results at home.

Saints haven't won away since January and although Killie have been poor at home of late, if they can get the ball to Boyd in dangerous areas in and around the box, they will have a decent chance to make the 31/20 on a home win look very generous. It's not with any huge confidence though, so small stakes will suffice.

Elsewhere, Partick go to Hearts sitting just two points clear of Killie. The Jambos were 5-0 winners on Sunday and are playing with a freedom and attacking style that must have Rangers fans fairly worried for next season in the second tier.

There could be goals again in this one. Many of the Hearts youngsters have improved over the course of the season and I was once again impressed by Billy King on Sunday.

The winger has added a better end product to his game, scoring three times in his last six. He is so direct and his pace caused Killie all sorts of problems.

He looks big at 5/1 to score at any time against Thistle and is worth backing.


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