Scottish Premiership briefing

  • Last Updated: January 2 2014, 14:07 GMT

Team news, statistics and our verdict for Thursday's action in the Scottish Premiership.

Paul Heffernan: Returns for Hibernian to face Hearts
Paul Heffernan: Returns for Hibernian to face Hearts

Thursday, January 2

Hibernian v Hearts

Hibernian striker Paul Heffernan returns from a thigh injury for the showdown with local rivals Hearts while midfielder Kevin Thomson is also pushing for involvement after a calf strain. Winger Alex Harris remains out but is making progress following an ankle injury.

Hearts manager Gary Locke has an unchanged squad for the derby. Ryan Stevenson returned from a hamstring injury during Sunday's draw with St Mirren and is likely to start again while Gary Oliver (ankle), Mark Ridgers (knee) and Jason Holt (foot) are still missing.

Last season: Hearts 1 Hibernian 2, Hibernian 0 Hearts 0, Hearts 0 Hibernian 0, Hibernian 1 Hearts 1

Last five league matches: Hibernian D L D W W; Hearts L L L L D

Top scorers: Liam Craig (Hibernian) 6; Jamie Hamill, Ryan Stevenson & Callum Paterson (Hearts) 4

Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland).

Our verdict: Hibernian 2 Hearts 1

Kilmarnock v St Mirren

Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston will choose from a similar squad to the one on duty in the defeat to Hibernian. Midfielders James Fowler (knee), Reuben Gabriel (ankle) and David Silva (knock) have been missing along with defender Ismael Bouzid (knee).

Saints skipper Jim Goodwin is absent after accepting a two-match ban for striking Dundee United midfielder Stuart Armstrong but midfielder Kenny McLean could feature despite boss Danny Lennon admitting he needs a knee operation. Marc McAusland (migraine) and Lee Mair (groin) are doubts while winger Gary Teale (hernia) and defender David Barron (ankle) are definitely out with long-term issues. However, new loan signing from Newcastle Adam Campbell could play at some point.

Last season: Kilmarnock 1 St Mirren 3, Kilmarnock 1 St Mirren 1, St Mirren 1 Kilmarnock 1, Kilmarnock 3 St Mirren 1

Last five league matches: Kilmarnock W L W W L; St Mirren D L L W D

Top scorers: Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) 11; Steven Thompson (St Mirren) 10

Referee: Brian Colvin (Scotland).

Our verdict: Kilmarnock 1 St Mirren 1

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