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Hibernian v Partick Thistle – 7th December 2013

Following the disappointment of cup defeat against Aberdeen last week, Saturday sees Thistle make the trip to Easter Road for an important league clash with Hibs. The two teams have only played each other once so far this term, a game which ended in a 1-0 victory for the Edinburgh team. The score line on that occasion certainly didn’t tell the whole story though. Thistle dominated for most of the game before an excellent strike from Hibs midfielder Liam Craig secured victory for the team from Leith.
It has been a period of big change for Hibs with previous manager Pat Fenlon leaving the club at the start of November to be replaced by former Inverness boss Terry Butcher and Saturday’s match will be Butcher’s first home game in charge.
After a much improved defensive performance against Aberdeen, Thistle remain on the hunt for a first league win since beating Terry Butcher’s former team at the Caledonian Stadium in October.
Despite a run of disappointing results Alan Archibald, when speaking to [link:HOME] after training today, is looking to get more points on the board. Looking forward to Saturday’s contest Alan said:
“It’s a chance for us to go level on points with Hibs. If we can go out there and get a victory we can start looking up the way and that’s the difference this game can make. We do have a few suspensions and injuries but that just gives some fresh faces the chance to come into the team this week and maybe make the difference.
“The game against Hibs at Firhill was probably one of our best performances in terms of overall play. We created chances and played some great stuff in their half but we were just missing a goal. They went up the other end and scored with only their second shot on target and nicked the game.”
Thistle have been undone several times this season through set pieces and this has been something Alan and the team have worked hard on in the past few weeks.
Alan said: “The team needs to organise themselves on the pitch and it’s something they are definitely all aware of. We can’t keep losing early goals because it clearly affects how you play during the rest of the game. Overall our defending in the Aberdeen game was much much better and, for the most part, we handled a very strong Aberdeen side that were playing well.
“The feeling among the team this week has been good and everyone is looking forward to going to Easter Road. It will be a very busy stadium on Saturday for Terry’s first home game in charge and we have to use that to our advantage to get a good start in the game.”
Finally, the manager let us in on the all important team news ahead of tomorrow’s game.
“Conrad Balatoni, Stuart Bannigan and Gary Fraser are suspended and we have a doubt over Sean Welsh, Stephen O’Donnell and Jordan McMillan who are all struggling. Otherwise everyone is fit and available.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
0              0              5              2              13
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Doolan 5
Aaron Muirhead 4
Steven Lawless 3
Christie Elliott 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Ross Forbes 1
Kallum Higginbotham 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Last Game
Tennents Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Sunday December 1st 2013
Partick Thistle 0, Aberdeen 1
Hibs Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              1              3              1              4
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Liam Craig 6
Paul Heffernan 3
James Collins 2
Danny Handling 1
Scott Robertson 1
Abdellah Zoubir 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Tennents Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Saturday November 30th 2013
RossCounty 0, Hibs 1
Last Meeting
Scottish Premiership
Monday October 7th 2013
Partick Thistle 0, Hibs 1
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Taylor-Sinclair, Welsh, Muirhead, Balatoni, Bannigan (Baird), Doolan, Lawless (Elliott), Osbourne, Higginbotham (Forbes).
Hibs: Williams, McGivern, Hanlon, Nelson, Robertson (Stanton), Craig, Collins (Jones), Stevenson, Taiwo (Zoubir), Heffernan, Thomson.
Hibs: Craig (69)
Crowd: 4,521
Match Details
Scottish Premiership
Saturday December 7th 2013
Hibs v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Supporters’ Buses Information
Match Officials
Referee: John Beaton
Assistant Referees: Alan Mulvanny and Andy Tait
Fourth Official: Kevin Clancy
Other Fixtures
Scottish Premiership
Dundee United v Hearts
Motherwell v Celtic (Friday)
RossCounty v Kilmarnock
St Johnstone v Aberdeen
St Mirren v Inverness Caledonian Thistle

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