Both teams are fighting to secure their place in the Premiership’s upper tier post-split, with two points separating the sides currently in sixth and seventh respectively heading into this match.
There’s been contrasting talk for both sides this season but now Saturday’s game is set to be massive in determining their eventual prize.
Both have rallied
For the home team, it’s been rags to riches with a slight humbling in their two previous fixtures. Jack Ross had his team flying before the Edinburgh derby, losing just once to Rangers at Ibrox post-winter break.
Back to back 3-1 defeats though to Hearts and Aberdeen have dented hopes that an outside run at third spot is on. They now sit nine points off that mark, which will be disappointing given third and fourth place Motherwell and Aberdeen have won four games between them since the break.
That being said, Ross took over when the club were fighting to ease any relegation fears, so they have did well to fire themselves well out of that unthinkable situation. St Johnstone meanwhile have been brilliant since December and it has revitalised their top six hopes.
They, more so than Hibs, looked likely to scrap for survival, enduring a torrid League Cup group stage then winning two league games prior to December 14. Since then, they’ve lost just three times in all competitions.
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, and both teams who’ll compete at Easter Road on Saturday are certainly doing their best to prove that. It has set up a tasty encounter in the capital.
Ross will be looking for a response to two defeats in succession whilst Tommy Wright will be looking for victory, which would take them into the top six. Combine that with the fact they’ve got that precious extra game over their top six rivals against a Rangers team seemingly struggling for domestic confidence, a Saints win would perhaps give them the upper hand heading into the final two games.
A Hibs victory though leaves the Saints four points outside the top six. Interestingly too, after this game and eliminating St Johnstone’s Rangers match from the equation, they’ll both play Hamilton and Celtic pre-split.
It’s set up to be an enthralling end to the top six race and Saturday’s winner could be determine who gets that final berth.