Go in for the Kil

  • By: Gareth Friel
  • Last Updated: May 10 2014, 12:40 BST

Gareth Friel previews this weekend's Scottish Premiership action and fears for Hibs as they take on Kilmarnock.

Kris Boyd could be the difference at Easter Road
Kris Boyd could be the difference at Easter Road

The final weekend of the Scottish Premiership season has thrown up Hibs fans' worst fears - needing a win at home to avoid a relegation play-off.

They face Kilmarnock at Easter Road at lunchtime on Saturday and the equation is simple for Hibs. If they win they stay up; a draw or defeat would mean facing Hamiton, Falkirk or Queen of the South in a battle for a seat at the top table next season.

The reason needing a win at home is a nightmare one for Hibs is this - they have won only four times at home all season and just one of their last nine. They were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Championship side Raith and suffered derby humiliation at the hands of Hearts just under two weeks ago.

Are there any positives for Hibs boss Terry Butcher? Well, Killie have won only 12 points away from home and are one of the few sides to have lost at Easter Road this season. Hibs haven't suffered defeat in any of their last eight meetings against Killie, winning five and drawing three.

But in Kris Boyd, the visitors may hold the key to this match. The striker bagged the vital winner against St Mirren in midweek for his 21st strike of the season and how Hibs would love to have someone like him in their ranks.

Liam Craig is the Hibees' top scorer with nine, only six of them coming in the league. The likes of James Collins have come in for some fierce criticism for ineptitude in front of goal while, Craig apart, only one other midfielder has more than one goal to their name in the Premiership (Sam Stanton with two).

The firepower of Boyd could be the decisive factor. It's difficult to see how Hibs can get the victory they need here. Had they required just a point to survive the dynamic would be completely different but this current side just cannot be trusted to win when it matters.

They've lost four of the five Edinburgh derbies, were thumped in Europe by Malmo and knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Raith as mentioned. They couldn't even perform when they had the chance to officially relegate their biggest rivals Hearts.

There's nothing to suggest Hibs can pick up their first win since mid-February so get with Killie at 11/8 in the draw no bet market.

St Mirren's clash with Hearts could be Danny Lennon's last match in charge. The manager admits he doesn't know if he will be given a new deal by the club despite leading them to safety with two games to spare.

However, they were woeful on Wednesday night against Kilmarnock and looked like a team already thinking ahead to the summer.

Hearts were beaten by a determined Partick side on Wednesday but had been unbeaten in six prior to that. The Jambos have been fantastic since the split and they could pick up another three points in Paisley.

The visiting fans have sold out their allocation of tickets and the club have asked for more. Roared on by a fantastic show of support, Hearts could do some damage.

Too many Saints stars look on their way out and although the same could be said of Hearts, they have showed an excellent team spirit and togetherness in the face of huge adversity.

I like the look of Hearts to win at 12/5.