It’s Scottish Cup fourth round weekend where the Premier League and first division sides enter the completion. As ever, the draw has thrown up some very interesting encounters, most notably at Easter Road at Easter Road where Edinburgh rivals Hibs and Hearts meet. It’s a repeat of last year’s final which ended in a resounding victory for Hearts. A lot has changed since then and the green and white half of Edinburgh will be hoping for revenge.
Hibs have had an excellent start to their league campaign and after a couple of defeats they returned to winning ways beating St Johnstone 1-0 away. It returns them to second place in the league and more importantly for some, nine points clear of their arch rivals. Key to their success is the form of Leigh Griffiths who has hit 13 league goals already.
Hearts will be hurting after a 4-0 thrashing at home to Celtic on Wednesday. As well as their on-field problems (won only once in six matches) they face a tremendous battle to survive as a club because of an unpaid tax bill. They’ve been given a reprieve, for now, but it’s clearly having an adverse effect on their performances. Manager John McGlynn has had to rely on several youth players in recent weeks and it’s likely to be the case again on Sunday.
These matches are rarely dull and it’s likely to be even more fraught being in the cup. Hearts have definitely had the upper hand in recent seasons and go into this match with just one defeat in 15 fixtures between the two. There is reason to suggest that Hibs can improve that record this weekend as they have been far more potent that Hearts this season and look a lot more secure at the back than in previous seasons. I’ve watched Hearts twice this week and they have lacked any real creativity and overall quality. They will no doubt raise their game once again for the derby but I think they’ll fall short and Hibs can compound their misery by securing the win and moving into the next round.
Another bet which could well reward punters is for a sending off in the match. As I have touched upon, there will be a number of young players involved who will be taking part in their first derby game. The emotion of it all may well get the better of them and as such, a red card in the game would be of interest.
Hibs 9/5 @ BetVictor