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Marvin Bartley plots to thwart former Hibernian team-mate Martin Boyle

Livingston Headshots 2019/2020 -Tony Macaroni Arena
(Image credit: Stewart Robertson)

Marvin Bartley admits former Hibernian team-mate Martin Boyle is “almost unstoppable”, but the Livingston midfielder hopes his inside knowledge can help him halt the winger.

Boyle scored a double as Hibs beat Kilmarnock in their Scottish Premiership opener and will be reunited with Bartley at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday.

When asked about Boyle’s form, Bartley said: “Absolutely brilliant. He always had the pace and now he has the end product to go with it. He works really hard on his game in training.

“He is almost becoming unstoppable. We need to find a way to stop him on Saturday and hopefully we can do that.

“His pace is electric and we need to stop the ball into him, and when he does get the ball be very tight to him so he can’t pick up pace.

“But you have to worry about players like him. Outside the top two, he is probably one of the most dangerous players in the league.

“If you can keep Martin Boyle quiet you are some of the way there to beating them, but they have other quality players, it would be disrespectful just to speak about him.

“I know he is the man of the moment but there are quality players throughout that team and we need to be mindful of all of them.”

Bartley spent four years at Easter Road and was a popular player with Hibs fans before leaving for Livingston a year ago.

“I trained with these boys day in, day out, so I will be more accustomed to their style of play and what I think they are going to do than the other boys at Livingston,” he said. “So it does give me an insight, but I need to stop them.

“I can tell you how to stop Martin Boyle, but if he knocks the ball down the line, me and him running, I’m not getting there. So I will probably be taking a booking!

“I am not really one to do that, I will get on with my game. But they will know it will be whole-hearted. Everyone knows the way I play and that won’t change for anyone in that team. I’ve got some great friends in there who will be friends for life, but when I cross that white line they will know there will be no let-up from me.

“They would expect nothing less from me and I expect the same from them.

“Paul Hanlon dropped his shoulder against us here last season and skipped straight past me, and as he came back he gave me a little wink. So there’s no let-up from those boys and there will be no let-up from me either.”