Draw profits from derby stalemate

  • By: Gareth Friel
  • Last Updated: March 30 2014, 12:52 BST

Gareth Friel previews this weekend's action in the Scottish Premiership, including a potentially massive Edinburgh derby.

Hearts v Hibs could take on extra significance this Sunday
Hearts v Hibs could take on extra significance this Sunday

Hibs went into the last Edinburgh derby at New Year on a high following a run of just one defeat in seven under new boss Terry Butcher. They went on to win that one in front of the biggest crowd at Easter Road since it's redevelopment.

Since then, it's been pretty grim for Hibs fans. Butcher's initial impact has faded and they've won just one and lost seven of their last 12.

They're only seven points clear of St Mirren and a relegation play-off place, but every supporter in the green half of Edinburgh will be cheering on the Saints on Saturday.

Why? Because if St Mirren avoid defeat against Inverness it will give Hibs the once in a lifetime opportunity to relegate their bitter rivals Hearts on their own patch at Tynecastle on Sunday.

It could be a huge opportunity for Hibs but they haven't provided much of a goal threat in their last three outings to suggest they can pick up the three points this weekend.

Hearts will be up for it of course and the commitment of Gary Locke's young side cannot be questioned. Unfortunately, they just aren't good enough to compete in the Premiership.

However, they have taken only two points fewer than Hibs in 2014. That includes the aforementioned New Year derby defeat while they've also played two fewer games.

There's probably not that much between the two sides although Hibs have a bit of extra quality and experience in their squad.

I'm going for a draw in this one at 5/2 whether Hearts can be relegated or not.

On Saturday, Motherwell continue their push for second place with a home match against Kilmarnock.

They are a point behind Aberdeen and the Dons' resurgence has probably helped 'Well in some ways. In recent weeks Aberdeen have been the subject of plenty of hype following their League Cup success as well as reaching the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

This has allowed 'Well to get on with their business in the league somewhat under the radar.

They've won three of their last four and 10 of their last 15 in the league. Stuart McCall's side also have the second-best home record with 11 wins from 15 games which is not good news for Killie.

John Sutton may be Motherwell's top scorer but Lionel Ainsworth has been a big goal threat in recent weeks too. The winger has scored three in the last four and has nine for the season.

He could have had even more given the positions he gets into and I like the look of him at 13/5 in the anytime scorer market.

  • Posted at 0915 GMT on 27/03/2014.