A 'must-win' league fixture doesn't bode well in too many contexts, but that's where Hibs find themselves this Saturday.

Dundee are the visitors to Easter Road, five points ahead of Nick Montgomery's side in sixth place, aiming to extend that advantage to eight by early evening. Without a Premiership win since December 9, maximum return this weekend is now a non-negotiable for Hibs, and it's starting to feel like now or never in terms of preventing the campaign from drifting away from the prospect of European football.

Yet another 2-2 draw at the weekend - the seventh of Montgomery's tenure - displayed both positive signs and causes for concern, with Martin Boyle confessing afterwards that Hibs 'can't afford to drop many more points.' It was a fixture made entertaining for the neutral by the fact neither side covered themselves in defensive glory.

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We covered Hibs' lapses at the back, some of which were all too familiar, in our post-match analysis, and it remains a puzzle that Montgomery and his coaching staff have yet to solve - although in fairness, the deep-rooted problems date back far before Montgomery's time. Going the other way, though, Hibs have looked a more threatening attacking proposition since the switch to 4-3-3 from 4-4-2. 

The return of key players from both injury and international duty, plus the addition of new ones, have clearly helped and Montgomery now has a wealth of forward options at his disposal. During Saturday's first half, there was a noticeable emphasis on attacking down the right flank. Lewis Miller and Martin Boyle share a sound understanding, and with Nathan Moriah-Welsh playing predominantly on the right of the midfield three, Hibs sought to create the below scenario.

In the above example, Moriah-Welsh advances with the ball on the right and Miller underlaps on the inside with Boyle hugging the touchline and Myziane staying high and central. Attacking down this could well have been a deliberate instruction given Duk, playing on Aberdeen's left, is not among their most defensively diligent players. 

With Miller and Boyle, in particular, Hibs were able to work good positions. In the example below, Moriah-Welsh opens up the play to find Miller (out of shot initially) wide right.

Boyle makes a run towards the right channel, with Miller playing into his feet and making an unmatched out-to-in run that allows the winger to loft a ball over the Aberdeen backline.

The pass puts Miller into a hugely dangerous position, and he looks to square the ball across the six-yard box for an advancing forward. You'll see below, however, that Myziane holds his position for a cut-back, but the retreating Richard Jensen coupled with Stefan Gartenmann's position means the angle is largely cut off. Miller's pass across goal actually beats Gartenmann, and had Myziane gambled by getting into the six-yard box, he would have been left with a simple tap-in.

Myziane's goal contributions have been impressive since his arrival on loan from Hertha Berlin, but moments like the above perhaps betray the fact that while he is clearly a talent, he does not quite hold that poacher's mindset that turns these scenarios from chance into goal.

In the example below, we again see Hibs attacking with Moriah-Welsh, Miller and Boyle on the right. This time, Miller fires a pass into Boyle's feet and makes another out-to-in run, with the winger laying the ball off into his path.

Miller knocks the ball around Jack MacKenzie and powers into the open space before looking to drive a low ball into the box.

Highlighted below, though, is the fact that despite this effective combination play down the flank, Hibs do not have enough bodies in the box to seriously trouble Aberdeen. All three midfielders are behind the play, and although Moriah-Welsh makes up good ground to press Connor Barron into a mistake after Aberdeen clear, the initial opportunity is made easier for the Dons to defend by the lack of green and white shirts getting into the box, or even arriving late.

Hibs also showed some counter-attacking promise down that side which, given the pace and power in the team now, should be a major asset. Hibs win the ball back after an Aberdeen set-piece, and Miller plays inside to Myziane, who turns and drives forward, supported by Boyle bursting a gut to get up alongside him.

Boyle offers Myziane an option to his right, and if the forward slips the ball to him earlier, he would have been able to go at Jensen one-on-one. Myziane, though, carries the ball a touch too long, and Boyle then makes a run inside which leaves his team-mate without a passing option, and the move breaks down.

These examples are perhaps as frustrating as they are promising for Hibs fans at the moment, so strong is the need to simply get three points on the board. Their team did not defend well on Saturday, but could certainly have created more high-quality chances had players made better decisions in the final third. 

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But the good news is there were positive indications that attacking patterns of play are improving under Montgomery's coaching. A clear issue in that miserable late December/post-winter break period was a lack of cohesiveness going forward, but Hibs have most certainly posed a threat in their last three outings in all competitions.