St Johnstone are on a run of three wins, two draws and a single defeat in six games, a sequence that has seen them move away from the foot of the table. Defeat at Livingston last midweek being the only black mark since they were being used as target practice by those in the bottom half of the table.
They started their league campaign at Celtic Park with a 7-0 defeat. Maybe I’m just over-cautious from a few years ago, when the same result against St Mirren proceeded a cup exit to the same opposition a week later, but this kind of result can be misleading. Those on the receiving end can use the hurt as motivation, while the team who dished out the win learn nothing useful about their opponents.
I expect Neil Lennon will have the squad ready for the battle of four consecutive away games; motivation will not be a concern. McDiarmid Park is also a wide-open surface. It is a yard longer and a yard wider than Celtic Park; I expect the champions to prosper.