Both teams will be keen to forget the horrors of their last outing. Motherwell lost 4-0 to Hibs in game spoiled by a poor referee while Celtic knocked in 5 goals without reply as they dumped the Saints from the League Cup on Tuesday.
The form table shows that St Johnstone should be favourites. After a dismal start to the season that earned them two points from the first five games they produced a scorching run of five wins and a draw to fourth in the SPL table. Motherwell are in the unusual position of trailing Lomas' team by five points.
The opposition manager gave a hint in midweek that he may alter his team. In reply to a suggestion that his players looked tired he said, ''Maybe sometimes it works for you, going with the same bodies all the time, but it's given me food for thought that you can't keep playing the same 13 or 14 week in, week out.''
With the exception of long time absentee Saunders, Stuart McCall may have a full squad available for the first time in several outings. The only doubt will be Hutchinson who missed last weekend’s game because of a hamstring tweak. Motherwell have two fixtures next week so if there is any uncertainty about the defender he’ll be rested.
Of greater concern will be the fact that we haven’t found the net in our last four games and conceded nine. When we score, whether from a 25 yard pile driver or a 6 inch sclaff, there will be a mixture of relief and celebration in the travelling support. Unfortunately the home side are likely to find the net as well and we may have to settle for a 1-1 draw, happy to have stopped the rot.
Remember the last time we were in Perth?