Heart of Midlothian will make their third trip to the SMiSA Stadium this season in their penultimate Premiership fixture on Wednesday evening looking to move one step closer to breaching the 70-points barrier for only the second time in the club's history.

Hearts ground out a 2-1 win amid the ferocious wind on their previous visit to Paisley and although the weather will hopefully be better this time around, there is no doubt that Stephen Robinson's side will do their utmost to make life uncomfortable for the men in maroon.

Joel Sked and James Cairney talk us through their predicted line-ups for the encounter at the SMiSA Stadium - and they hardly agree on anything. 

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Joel Sked

In the previous two meetings between the sides, Steven Naismith has opted for a back three. The result has been six points from six. That was something I thought he would do once more with Frankie Kent coming back in to play between Stephen Kingsley and Kye Rowles. However, with the former absent it throws a spanner in the works. The question now is whether Naismith goes with a back four with Toby Sibbick at right-back or plays Sibbick as part of the back three with Dexter Lembikisa at right-wing back.

The back three would allow for the possibility of Kyosuke Tagawa playing in attack with Lawrence Shankland. The Japanese striker's pace and willingness to run in behind would be an asset against a St Mirren side that like to squeeze the game. Tagawa stretching the game would allow Shankland more space. Kenneth Vargas is capable of that but the Costa Rican likes to come short in build-up before getting into dangerous positions behind defences further up the pitch.

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My personal preference would be that front pairing with a midfield three of Cammy Devlin, Beni Baningime and Macaulay Tait, flanked by Aidan Denholm and Alex Cochrane. That would allow Sibbick and Kent to come into the backline.

However, I now predict Naismith will stick with the shape that brought success against Dundee but there will be changes. Kingsley will drop out and after playing 80 minutes at the weekend I'd imagine Barrie McKay will too, as will one of Alan Forrest and Kenneth Vargas to allow Yutaro Oda to start. It will be interesting to see if the midfield duo of Baningime and Devlin are also altered or if they are joined by either Tait or Denholm.

Lastly, Zander Clark could be reinstated with Craig Gordon playing at the weekend.

Predicted line-up: Clark; Sibbick, Kent, Rowles, Cochrane; Baningime, Devlin, Denholm; Vargas, Shankland, Oda.

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James Cairney

I suspect we’ll see Naismith shuffle the deck for this one, particularly with Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off with Rangers looming on the horizon. Hearts’ previous trip to Paisley was a scrappy affair where St Mirren made the pitch congested and ensured the game was played in tight areas, and I’m expecting more of the same this time around.

The 3-5-2 shape was crucial that day, and so I think we’ll see Naismith stick with a winning formula. I fully expect to see Craig Gordon in between the sticks once more to aid his chances of a seat on the plane to Germany next month, but I expect there to be some rotation in front of him. Naismith said after Saturday’s win over Dundee that Frankie Kent will return to the matchday squad, and I think we’ll see the Englishman in the middle of the back three with Toby Sibbick and Kye Rowles either side. St Mirren like to attack directly, and so a little pace in the wide centre-back positions wouldn’t go amiss.

Stephen Kingsley's absence means Alex Cochrane is nailed on to start at left wing-back, and I think we'll see Nathaniel Atkinson reinstated on the other side after the Aussie missed Saturday's win over Dundee.

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I think that having midfielders who can get their foot on the ball and remain composed in tight situations will be important, and so I think we’ll see Beni Baningime in his usual position at No.6, with Macaulay Tait to his left. Cammy Devlin’s forward runs have been important and recent weeks, and there are few Hearts players better equipped to take advantage of St Mirren’s high line, and so I believe the Aussie is a shoo-in to start this one. The same midfield trio started in last month's 2-1 win at the same venue, and I expect Naismith to stick to his guns in this sense.

Lawrence Shankland, one goal shy of breaching the 30-goal barrier for Hearts this season, will obviously start, and I think we’ll see the PFA Scotland Player of the Year partnered by Kyosuke Tagawa. The Japanese striker could use a goal to lift his confidence, and I think his ability to run in behind makes him a good fit tactically for the trip to the SMiSA Stadium.

Predicted line-up: Gordon; Sibbick, Kent, Rowles; Atkinson, Devlin, Baningime, Tait, Cochrane; Shankland, Tagawa.