St Johnstone vs Inverness predictions: Saints to edge past Inverness

Tom McGarry
LiveScore
St Johnstone's recent good home form gives Callum Davidson's men the edge against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Monday
St Johnstone's recent good home form gives Callum Davidson's men the edge against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Monday

St Johnstone and Inverness Caledonian Thistle are all-square at 2-2 heading into the second leg of their Scottish Premiership play-off final at McDiarmid Park on Monday. 

The Saints are bidding to retain their top-flight status after finishing 11th in the regular season standings, while Inverness are aiming to secure a return following a five-year absence. 

It was an entertaining first leg at the Caledonian Stadium on Friday as first-half goals from Shaun Rooney and Melker Hallberg appeared to put St Johnstone in a commanding position, only for Caley Thistle to restore parity after the break thanks to a Reece McAlear brace. 

That means everything is still up for grabs heading into the second leg, with both teams desperate to secure the final place in Scottish football's top tier for the 2022-23 season. 

Team news

St Johnstone have no fresh injury concerns to contend with but Tony Gallacher, Chris Kane, David Wotherspoon and Craig Bryson all remain on the treatment table. 

Glenn Middleton and Callum Hendry are expected to retain their places in the XI, which means Stevie May, who was introduced as a substitute on Friday, will once again have to make do with a place on the bench. 

Inverness Caledonian Thistle boss Billy Dodds may ring the changes following contrasting halves in the first leg
Inverness Caledonian Thistle boss Billy Dodds may ring the changes following contrasting halves in the first leg

Inverness boss Billy Dodds introduced Logan Chalmers and Austin Samuels at half-time on Friday. And given the turnaround during the second half, the duo are now expected to come into the team from the off. 

Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy are also pushing for starts after missing the first leg through suspension. 

The stats

St Johnstone won only one of their final six matches of the regular season.

But they have been in good form on home soil, winning three of their last four at McDiarmid Park. 

The Saints also have an impressive recent record against Inverness as they have not been beaten by Monday's visitors home or away since August 2016 and they won the last meeting between the two sides in Perth 3-0. 

Inverness are in good form as they are unbeaten in seven, while they have already come through two play-off ties to reach this stage, disposing of both Partick Thistle and Arbroath — the latter via a penalty shootout. 

Caley Thistle only lost four of their 18 away matches in the Scottish Championship during the regular season and they have suffered defeat just once on the road since early March. 

Predictions

Callum Hendry has scored four goals in his last four games at McDiarmid Park
Callum Hendry has scored four goals in his last four games at McDiarmid Park

After finishing fifth in the Premiership in the 2019-20 season and winning both domestic cup competitions, St Johnstone have suffered something of a hangover this term, which is why they find themselves involved in the play-offs. 

However, Callum Davidson's side showed their quality during the first half in Inverness, while their recent upturn in form on home soil indicates they should have too much for their Championship opponents. 

The Saints have conceded just one goal in their last three matches at McDiarmid Park and Inverness have not been prolific on the road, highlighted by their failure to score at Arbroath in their play-off semi-final. 

A St Johnstone win to nil certainly appeals, with Hendry, who has eight goals in 16 league appearances this season, looking a potential anytime scorer option. 

He has scored four goals in the last four home games, including the winner against Aberdeen in the most recent of them. 

Tags

St. JohnstoneInvernessScottish Premiership
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

Get instant notifications with the LiveScore app
app-storegoogle-play
cristiano Ronaldo