The end of the international break may just present Nick Montgomery with a dilemma he hasn't wrestled with too often this season: selecting a front three from a wealth of options.

Whether it be through injuries or suspensions, consistency in selection has been frustratingly elusive for the Hibs manager. But the absence of a select few in the lead-up to the latest pause in domestic business has allowed others to play themselves back into form, and when his squad reassembles at HTC next week it could leave Montgomery with something approaching a full attacking complement.

In the 3-0 win over Livingston a week ago, he started with Myziane Maolida, Adam Le Fondre, and Elie Youan in attack, and all three made significant contributions to an important result. Le Fondre and Myziane found the net themselves, while Youan contributed two assists.

It's a trio brought together by Martin Boyle and Dylan Vente being unavailable, but with both players working towards a return, it could soon be decision time for Montgomery.

Myziane's significant impact since joining on-loan from Hertha Berlin in January currently makes him one of the first names on the Hibs team sheet, and he has made that left-sided berth his own. If we assume, for now, that the Comoros international is a sure-fire starter when fit, it leaves four players  - realistically -competing for the other two positions. Montgomery also has Jair Tavares and Eliezer Mayenda as options, but neither seem to be prominent in the manager's thoughts for starting spots as things stand.

Le Fondre or Vente?

After recovering from a knee injury sustained back in October, Le Fondre was forced to be patient for his opportunity, but he's certainly taken it in the past two matches. Introduced as a half-time substitute in the 2-2 draw with Ross County, Hibs looked better for his mere presence, not to mention his clinical volleyed finish from Joe Newell's pass.

Against Livingston, the 37-year-old was instrumental in the 22-minute blitz which made the points safe. His movement and link-up play brought others into the game, creating space for Emiliano Marcondes to thrive, and setting up Jordan Obita's opener before notching a poacher's goal of his own. 

Vente, meanwhile, has had a frustrating first season at Easter Road, but has been picked more often than not when available, and often to fill a role as a second striker which has arguably hindered his pursuit of goals. The Dutchman has four Premiership goals from an xG of 4.58. Le Fondre has five Premiership goals from from 3.09 xG, a slight overperformance, and a decent return considering only five of his appearances this season have been in the starting XI. 

The graphic below compares the two players' in several metrics per 90 minutes, and it should be noted that Le Fondre's comes from a much smaller sample than Vente's.

Hibs Observer:

Le Fondre has averaged a higher xG-per-90, has taken more shots, and had more touches in the opposition box. Vente could well argue his numbers in those departments would be higher had he spent more time as the central striker, and if we take his last three appearances as the lone frontman, there is an upturn in his attacking involvement - modestly higher xG, more touches in the box, and an impressive xG assisted.

Hibs Observer: It's clear that there isn't a great deal to separate the two when looking at numbers alone, and who plays more in the weeks to come could depend on which player helps the team function better as a unit. Le Fondre has stated a strong case in the last two games, and if we compare each player's heat map (Le Fondre top, Vente below) from Wyscout then it points to the veteran as generally being more involved in the game.

Hibs Observer:

Hibs Observer:

It's currently unclear whether Vente will be fit for Ibrox in a week's time, with the last update from Montgomery indicating he would need the whole international break to recover, and even if fit, it would perhaps be harsh to drop Le Fondre given his recent effectiveness. As he approaches his 38th birthday this year, it's unlikely the Englishman will lead the line every week, but if both stay healthy between now and the campaign's conclusion, there will be considerable intrigue over who the manager favours.

Boyle or Youan?

You simply cannot argue with Elie Youan's numbers this season. 20 goal involvements - a satisfyingly balanced 10 goals, 10 assists - is an excellent return at any level, and the Frenchman has proven time and again that his inclusion brings tangible outcomes in the final third.

But that doesn't stop him frustrating a sizeable section of the Hibs support with the odd head-scratching moment or untimely loss of concentration. Much of that angst stems from supporters knowing exactly what Youan is capable of on-form, although it does jar at times when you consider his impressive output.

Boyle's hard-earned reputation as Hibs' talisman means Youan's place in the side week-on-week is not guaranteed despite those numbers, and he was dropped by Montgomery after a poor showing in the 3-0 defeat to St Mirren in February. Hibs looked immediately improved by Boyle's return from the Asian Cup, but with the 30-year-old still recovering from concussion, Youan has stepped up with vital contributions in the last two games.

If we're judging purely on stats, Youan has the edge in some areas this season. The graphic below compares both players over a range of metrics, with Youan performing better not only with goals and assists, but has more successful dribbles, more shots, and more touches in the opponents' box.

Hibs Observer:

Conversely, Boyle has a better crossing success rate, and has made more key passes (a pass which leads to a shot) - but only just, with 34 to Youan's 32. As demonstrated below, a number of Boyle's key passes also come from set-pieces - that's not to diminish in what itself is an important skill in being able to deliver dangerous crosses, but it does again highlight Youan's output in getting so close to Boyle's number almost exclusively from open play.

Hibs Observer:

Hibs Observer:

There's a perception that Youan doesn't do the dirty work, but he actually averages more pressure regains per-90 than Boyle. His issue, at times, is more one of concentration and switching off at key moments.

Again, the manager's preference if both stays fit will also consider how the team functions overall with either player. Youan's combinations with Chris Cadden during the win over Livingston showed promise. With Cadden holding width on the right, it allowed Youan to drift towards inside right pockets, or even further across the forward line, and it worked to good effect.

READ MORE: Josh Campbell and Martin Boyle edging closer to Hibs return

Boyle, though, has been Hibs' man for the big moments, and all three of the fixtures pre-split are exactly that with top six hopes hanging in the balance. Selecting the optimal front three is certainly a dilemma for the manager, but one he'll surely enjoy being presented with.