SCOTTISH football bible Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) shares his favourite fancy from north of the border this weekend.
Hibernian v Raith Rovers | Christmas Eve 13:00
It’s the season of goodwill to all men (and women!) and I’m going to prove that I’m fully embracing that sentiment by saying some positive things about Hibernian – not too much, of course, as that would certainly constitute a Christmas miracle.
Neil Lennon’s side go into Saturday’s Championship clash at Easter Road knowing that they will be table-toppers when eating their turkey if they can take all three points against Raith Rovers.
Hibs have had a few wobbles in recent weeks, dropping seven points in their last five fixtures, but the team from Leith can secure some extra Christmas cheer by claiming a comfortable win against Gary Locke’s outfit this weekend.
Hibs’ defensive solidity
For all of Hibs’ failings (and I’m rarely shy when it comes to listing them), you cannot help but be impressed by the defensive discipline that has formed a central plank of their push for promotion; Lennon’s men have leaked just nine league goals in 17 matches.
Furthermore, the Hibees have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last eight wins in the Championship, with the only goal conceded coming in a 3-1 victory against Dunfermline at East End Park – and that one came from the penalty spot.
Gary Locke, a man who spent much of his playing career in the other end of Edinburgh, would dearly love to see his side take something from this match, but Raith don’t have the firepower to claim the result that would make all of the former Hearts captain and manager’s Christmases’ come at once.
Raith’s lack of firepower
Only goal difference is keeping Raith out of the play-off places at present, but the Fifers have found the net just once in their last five fixtures – in a 1-1 home draw against Ayr more than a month ago.
Hibs are as short as 2/5 to pick up all three points on Christmas Eve, but better value lies in backing Lennon’s side to win to nil (23/20 BetVictor).
The selection would have seen punters profit in each of the Hibees’ last four league wins and the price offers outstanding value for punters again ahead of Saturday’s showdown.
Hibernian v Raith Rovers – Hibernian to win ‘to nil’ (23/20 BetVictor)