Hamilton & St Mirren fight to avoid Scottish Premiership relegation play-off

Hamilton v St Mirren
St Mirren beat Hamilton 2-0 on Monday to set up an exciting conclusion to the campaign

Two teams, one point between them, and both battling to avoid one relegation play-off place.

Hamilton Academical and St Mirren both go into their final Scottish Premiership games of the season on Saturday attempting to avoid a tense, two-legged shootout against Dundee United, with the final place in next season's top flight at stake.

The race was taken to the concluding day of the campaign after the Paisley side beat their relegation rivals 2-0 on Monday and now the permutations are relatively simple - St Mirren have to better Hamilton's result.

The Paisley side travel to already relegated Dundee, while Accies host seventh-place St Johnstone.


What the managers say

Hamilton Academical head coach Brian Rice: "I don't feel the pressure. I've been in other situations with pressure. I think it's a challenge for the boys to stand up to, look forward to, take it on the chin and have a go. If I start mentioning pressure, along with what they get from their mates, the media, other players talking to them, I think it can overburden them. I'm trying to take all that away from them, to get them to play the way I want them to, but mostly for them to go and enjoy it."

St Mirren manager Oran Kearney: "It would be a hell of an achievement by everybody attached to this club. There definitely hasn't been any pressure because we find ourselves in territory that I don't think anybody expected that we could get to. We have been chasing for a long time and the chase is still on. If I am being honest, probably at Christmas time, if you had given us this scenario at this stage of the season we would be delighted."

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Highlights: St Mirren 2-0 Hamilton

Team news

Attacker Mickel Miller will miss out for Hamilton after dislocating his shoulder during the defeat to St Mirren, while defender Alex Gogic is suspended after being sent off in Monday's defeat in Paisley. Fellow centre-back Matt Kilgallon remains out with ankle ligament damage.

Simeon Jackson is a doubt for St Mirren after sustaining a hamstring injury against Hamilton, while goalkeeper Danny Rogers (knee) and midfielder Greg Tansey (bone infection) remain sidelined.

Match stats

  • St Mirren have lost just one of their last five top-flight meetings with Dundee (W3 D1)
  • Kearney's side are unbeaten in five league matches (W2 D3)
  • Daniel Mullen has scored three goals in three league appearances against Dundee this season
  • Hamilton are looking to earn consecutive top-flight wins over St Johnstone for the first time since January 2015, after beating them 2-1 in February
  • Rice's side have a lower shot conversion rate (9.63%) than any other side in this season's Premiership, scoring just 26 goals from 270 shots

'If Hamilton do the business, it doesn't matter' - analysis

Former St Mirren striker Steven Thompson on Sportsound

You've just got to go and try and win your games. I think St Mirren have the easier of the two games because, if you were to hand pick a team to play on the last day of the season, it would be Dundee as they are in a bit of disarray. And St Johnstone's post-split form has been good. But, if Hamilton do the business, it doesn't matter.

It's great to have this excitement at the end of a season. It makes the games entertaining and that's what we want.

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