THIS renewal of the Edinburgh Derby looks to have lots of spice to it. Can Hibs end Hearts’ unbeaten run? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) gives us his view.
Hearts v Hibs | Saturday 12:45 | BT Sport 1
It’s ironic that one of the most keenly-anticipated Edinburgh New Year derbies in recent years takes place outside the top flight. But then again, then hasn’t been a normal season in Scotland.
Let’s start with Hearts, 15 points clear at the top of the table, unbeaten in 18 matches and a 100% record at Tynecastle. Wow! This looks certain to go down as one of the most memorable seasons in the Gorgie clubs decorated history.
Is it just me though who thinks they’ve taken their foot off the pedal in recent weeks? 25 goals in their opening eight games has been followed by 21 in their last ten fixtures. Hearts scored three or more in six of their opening 10 league fixtures, but have done it just once in their last eight encounters.
As long as they keep winning though Hearts fans won’t care. Bet365 offer odds-against 21/20 that they claim another three points here. I wasn’t expecting the odds to be that generous.
Hibs seem to be getting stronger as the season progresses. Losing to Alloa in August has been replaced by a stunning win over Rangers in December. Alan Stubbs’ side have now lost just one of their last 12 league matches and have won four of their last five.
Hearts have dominated this fixture in recent years though with five wins in their last seven meetings. Robbie Neilsen’s men won this match-up earlier in the season at Tynecastle back in August.
As I mentioned above, I was surprised to see odds-against quotes for Hearts. For all that they’ve dropped off in the goals column, they are still winning games relentlessly. Seven in a row in the Championship and let’s not forget they’re P9 W9 at Tynecastle.
For all I believe Hibs will give them a very hard game, I just have to take advantage of odds-against Hearts in this match. You won’t see that much in the first half of 2015.
Hearts v Hibs – Hearts to win (21/20 Bet365)