Kick Off: Thursday 3rd January
Live on TV: Sky Sports 1 7.45pm
Hearts take on Hibs at Tynecastle on Thursday evening under the lights, and Sky Sports cameras will be beaming the action live to our living rooms. One of the fiercest rivalries in the UK, this derby is sure to produce fireworks, and Hibs will be looking to inflict a second defeat in a month on their opponents.
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The 1-0 win over Hearts at Easter Road on 2nd December in the Scottish Cup was Hibernian’s first win over their city rivals for over 3 years and 13 matches, and though the visitors failed to collect any points in their 2 league games after their victory, confidence will be very high after Pat Fenlon’s side shocked Champions elect Celtic by beating them 1-0 last weekend; Man of the moment and top scorer Leigh Griffiths grabbing the winning goal after just 9 minutes.
Griffiths form in front of goal has been immense this term. The former Dundee striker has bagged 14 goals in 20 games this season, which makes him responsible for just under 50% of Hibernian’s total goal count.
If Hibernian are going to repeat their first win at Tynecastle in over 3 years, tonight might just be the night. Hearts have been solid enough at home this season barring a couple of under par performances against Dundee and Kilmarnock last September, but Hibs seem to have momentum on their side, and this game is so finely balanced that it may well be down to confidence levels to provide the winning team.
To lose to your arch rivals for the first time in 3 years and then face them just 1 month later when they have just beaten the best team in the league isn’t a scenario Hearts would have chosen, yet that is exactly what they are faced with.
Sky Bet make Hearts 21/20 favourites to take the spoils, with the draw a 12/5 chance and Hibs 5/2 to leave with 3 points. You can see the reasoning behind bookies making Hearts favourites, but I wouldn’t want to be backing them at the moment.
A better option may be to look at Hibernian double chance at 8/11 with Sky Bet. This bet covers both the Hibs win and the draw so as long as Hearts don’t win the game we collect our money. History may say that Hearts have the advantage, but recent form and confidence levels tell me that Hibs may have the edge here, and I’m even happier that I can have the draw on my side.
Hibernian double chance – 8/11 Sky Bet