v ST MIRREN
It does seem like ICTFC are playing every second day at the moment, but they’re back on home soil as they prepare to face St. Mirren on Saturday.
As the busy schedule begins to wind down with just three games before the split which includes a week’s break before the league breaks into two and the final five fixtures begin.
At the moment, manager, John Hughes possibly will be relishing that break as it will give him the opportunity to rest his players after they will have played twelve matches in just less than six weeks.
Danny Lennon’s, Saint’s will be the opponents for this weekend’s game with it being the first time the side from Paisley will visit the Highland capital since the first game of the season.
ICTFC came out comfortable 3-0 winners on that day, with three second half goals from: James Vincent; Billy Mckay and Aaron Doran.
Elsewhere this season, the two sides played out a 0-0 draw at St. Mirren Park in Hughes’ first game at the club, although he elected to sit in the stands so he could review his new squad.
Caley Thistle have only been able to dispose of The Buddies once in the last five meetings, being that 3-0 win this season, as they didn’t manage to pick up three points against Saturday’s opponents at all last season, drawing twice and losing once.
Before that, it took an 85th minute Richie Foran header to seal a win in Paisley, the Irishman getting on the end of a Greg Tansey cross to seal the win towards the end of the 2011/12 season.
However, despite not picking up victories against the Saints, ICTFC haven’t lost at home against them since Boxing Day of 2010 where a Steven Thompson double cancelled out an early opener from Lee Cox.
On the whole, the Caley Jags have a great home record against St. Mirren, winning 13 of the 22 encounters between the sides, losing just four and restricting the Saints to scoring, on average less than a goal a game, whereas ICTFC have scored on average, over two goals per game.
Aaron Doran will, again be the big selection problem for Yogi as the winger contends with his persistent hamstring problem that kept him out of both the win against Partick Thistle last weekend and the defeat against Dundee United midweek.
One player that will not play for the rest of the season for Caley Thistle is winger, Ben Greenhalgh, as he has signed for Stenhousemuir on loan for the rest of the season. The 21 year old hasn’t played for the first team since coming on in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United at the beginning of January, and has only played twice since Hughes arrived at the club in December.
Carl Tremarco will be available for selection again after serving his one match suspension in Wednesday’s defeat against the Arabs, meaning that there’s no suspension worries for ICTFC.
St. Mirren will be without former Hearts goalkeeper, Marián Kello for their trip up north, as the Slovakian misses out through injury. French keeper, Christopher Dilo will be the likely option to replace Kello between the sticks.
With the Saints looking to pull away from the Play-off place, they may recall Jim Goodwin to the starting XI, as well as wingers, Gregg Wylde and Gary Teale, although defender Stephane Bahoken is unavailable.
PREVIEW By : Grant Pringle