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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v St Mirren – 25th April 2014

There is little doubt that tonight’s game with St Mirren is a vitally important one. Including tonight’s game there are four matches to play before the end of the Premiership league campaign and to say that things are tight in the bottom half of the table would be a massive understatement.
Hearts, arguably the form team of the bottom six, have already been relegated but just three points separate the other five and there will be an almighty scramble between now and the end of the season among those five to avoid the dreaded play-off spot.
We did our chances of avoiding that position with an excellent, come from behind, victory at Kilmarnock last weekend and could do our chances of finishing above 11th no harm at all tonight with victory over a St Mirren side that are unbeaten in their last three games.
Floodlight matches at Firhill can be very special indeed; we need think no further back than to last season’s pivotal promotion game with Morton for evidence of that. A big crowd is expected at Firhill this evening and anticipation is growing as kick-off grows ever nearer.
Excitement is growing too for manager Alan Archibald who admitted to [link:HOME] that this was the kind of match that he wished he was playing in;
“It’s a long wait as manager sitting around waiting for the game. It’s the kind of game that I wish that I was playing in. It’s the kind of occasion that all players relish being part of. It’s arguably our biggest game since the Morton game last April and we are hoping for a similar result as that game.”
The manager is hoping that the fact that many of the current squad played in that match against Morton will prove to be advantage tonight.
“The experience of that should be an asset. The players know what needs to be done and will have learned from that experience and will need to take what they learned into tonight’s game.”
Alan continued;
“It was an excellent result that we got last weekend away to Kilmarnock but I don’t think that reduces the pressure for tonight’s game any. There is always pressure when you get to this stage of the season where it really is dog eat dog. Playing on the Friday night gives you a little extra incentive. It gives you the chance to post your result ahead of those playing over the weekend and if you win it allows you to relax a bit and watch the other scores coming in. That applies to St Mirren as much as it does us though. Last week Kilmarnock would have been looking at the game as a chance to move six points clear off us and just about make themselves safe. St Mirren will look at tonight’s game as a chance to put some breathing space between them and others but we look at it as a chance to go above St Mirren. There really is everything to play for tonight.”
And the fans have their part to play too. Said the Thistle manager;
“The fans have been great all season but even I was taken aback by the numbers and the level of support we got at Kilmarnock. I’m sure the support will be even better tonight. There is something extra special about playing an evening game under the floodlights. There has been a cracking atmosphere at other night games, where we’ve had good results, and I can’t imagine it will be any different tonight. The fans really helped us at Kilmarnock last Saturday and they can help us tonight.”
Injury wise there is little change from last week.
“Only the long term injured players, Sean Welsh, Isaac Osbourne, Stephen O’Donnell and Aaron Muirhead, will miss tonight’s game. Everyone else is fit and raring to go.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              1              3              6              12
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Doolan 9
Kallum Higginbotham 7
Steven Lawless 5
Lyle Taylor 5
Aaron Muirhead 4
Conrad Balatoni 2
Christie Elliott 3
Chris Erskine 2
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair 2
Ross Forbes 1
Gary Fraser 1
Lee Mair 1
Jordan McMillan 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Saturday April 19th 2014
Kilmarnock 1, Partick Thistle 2
St Mirren Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              1              2              7              8
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Stephen Thompson 13
Kenny McLean 6
Paul McGowan 5
John McGinn 3
Adam Campbell 2
Jason Naismith 2
Connor Newton 2
Gary Harkins 1
Sean Kelly 1
Gregg Wylde 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Saturday April 19th 2014
St Mirren 2, Hibs 0
Last Meeting
Scottish Premiership
Saturday January 25th 2014
St Mirren 0, Partick Thistle 0
St Mirren: Kello, Naismith, McAusland, Wylde, Kelly, Campbell (Newton ), McGregor, McGinn, Thompson, McGowan, Goodwin.
Thistle: Gallacher, Taylor-Sinclair, Muirhead, Balatoni, Craigen, Bannigan, Mair, McMillan, Taylor (Doolan), Higginbotham (Lawless), Erskine (Elliott).
Crowd: 4,660
Match Details
Scottish Premiership
Friday April 25th 2014
Partick Thistle v St Mirren
Kick-off: 7:45pm
Admission Details
Match Officials
Referee: Calum Murray
Assistant Referees: Tom Murphy and Joseph Lawson
Fourth Official: Willie Collum
Other Fixtures
Aberdeen v St Johnstone (Saturday)
Celtic v Inverness Caledonian Thistle (Sunday)
Dundee United v Motherwell (Saturday)
Hibernian v Hearts (Sunday)
Ross County v Kilmarnock (Saturday)

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