Kilmarnock V Hibernian at Rugby Park : Match Preview

22 December 2012 02:31
Kilmarnock V Hibernian - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Kelly out for Killie

Kilmarnock will be without the suspended Liam Kelly for their Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Hibernian on Sunday.

The 22-year-old midfielder has been on fine form for the Ayrshire side and bagged a double in last week's win over Aberdeen.

Kelly is out of contract at the end of the season, but boss Kenny Shiels hopes he will be persuaded to pen a new deal.

He said: "I think he's got some time to serve here and it's important that he stays where he's learning.

"We want him to stay in an environment that's good for his improvement and the SPL is certainly providing him with that.

"We are a development club, we are developing players. Liam was let go by MK Dons and we picked him up.

"We've developed him to this level now and we're doing it with other players.

"I think he's due to sign a good contract."

Danny Racchi is rated doubtful with a groin problem and could also miss the visit of the Edinburgh side.

Garry Hay and William Gros remain on the sidelines ahead of the clash at Rugby Park.

Captain James McPake is suspended for Hibernian.

Defender McPake returned from a back injury in the 3-2 loss at Motherwell and was sent off for two bookable offences, earning a one-match ban.

Midfielder Gary Deegan returned from a fractured jaw and is in contention to start at Rugby Park, while defender Tim Clancy could be included following a groin problem.

Goalkeeper Ben Williams hopes Hibs can consolidate their position in the top half ahead of the winter break.

Hibs go into this weekend's fixtures in fourth place and will seek to bounce back from successive losses to Inverness and Motherwell.

Following the Rugby Park fixture, Hibs face Ross County on Boxing Day, Celtic and then Hearts on January 3 before a two-week hiatus.

Williams said: "It's a point in the season now with so many games coming thick and fast, you can either make up a lot of ground in the league or you can drop. We really need to make sure we're making up ground.

"We've got four games now in quick succession. It's important that we pick up a decent amount of points, even if it's a case of trying to keep hold of Celtic, hold on to their coat tails before the winter break."

Source: PA