Kilmarnock V Partick at Rugby Park : Match Preview

20 December 2013 05:02
Kilmarnock V Partick - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Gabriel is no angel

Kilmarnock will be without the suspended Reuben Gabriel for their Scottish Premiership game against Partick.

Gabriel's red card during last week's defeat to Dundee United means he will sit out the visit of Thistle.

Also missing the weekend action will be David Silva after he picked up a knock, but loan player Michael Gardyne is back in contention having been unable to feature against his parent club.

Manager Allan Johnston said: "It's a big game.

"When you look at the festive period, we play teams round about us and it's important we start by getting three points against Thistle."

Partick will be without Isaac Osbourne.

The midfielder could be out for around two months with an ankle injury sustained during last week's abandoned game against St Johnstone, while Gary Fraser is still suspended.

Stephen O'Donnell could return following a hip injury but the match comes too soon for Sean Welsh as he continues his recovery from a groin problem.

Conrad Balatoni insists Premiership teams hold no fear for Partick as they aim to haul themselves back up the table.

Thistle initially made an impressive return to the top-flight with a string of positive results in the early part of the season.

Recent matches have seen them struggle to put together a consistent run, resulting in them slipping down to ninth spot.

But, as they prepare to travel to Kilmarnock, Balatoni claims confidence is still high in the Firhill camp.

The defender said: "Belief is a major factor.

"Belief brings you confidence and confidence can make you play better and make you do things that you might not try when you're not confident.

"All the players have belief. We are a young side and we don't fear anyone.

"We go into every game thinking that we are going to win and hopefully we will win on Saturday."

Source: PA