Make McPake the value bet

  • By: Gareth Friel
  • Last Updated: September 27 2012, 10:33 BST

Hibs captain James McPake rates value to score first against Aberdeen according to our expert Gareth Friel.

James McPake looks value to find the net

Regular readers of this column will be aware that I don't rate Hearts very highly this season, in fact I backed them for a bottom six finish in my ante-post SPL preview.

There was enough about them last weekend to suggest they may make a mockery of my opinion as they destroyed Dundee United 3-0 at Tannadice - and they could have scored more.

Callum Paterson looks like a star in the making but he, like a lot of the current Hearts squad, is young and inexperienced and for every high (the aforementioned 3-0 win v Dundee Utd), there will be a low (the dire 2-0 defeat to St Mirren the week before).

Certainly at home they have seemed to struggle a bit with being favourites in front of a support that can be very demanding at times.

Against Inverness they showed their inexperience by letting a two-goal lead slip to draw while they were beaten by bottom club Dundee in a match they struggled to impose themselves on.

That said they were impressive against Livingston in midweek in the League Cup but Kilmarnock represent a different challenge on Saturday at Tynecastle.

Kenny Shiels' side are like Hearts in the way that you're never entirely sure what you're going to get from them.

They've won their last two league games at Rugby Park comfortably 3-1, but sandwiched in between was a home defeat to Second Division Stenhousemuir in the League Cup. That just about sums up Killie.

They are yet to win away this season in three games which is a bit of a concern, but they have an excellent recent record in Gorgie, winning their last three visits to nil. In fact, Shiels' first away win as boss was a 1-0 success against Hearts just about a year ago.

The two teams are on the same points in the SPL for a reason - there isn't that much between them. That's why the tip for this one simply has to be Kilmarnock at a very generous 33/10 with Bet Victor.

It's another value tip in Saturday's early match where Aberdeen take on Hibs at Pittodrie.

The Dons have been tight at the back this term, so much so that they conceded as many goals in their 3-3 draw with Motherwell last Sunday as they had in their previous six games.

Craig Brown's side are solid in open play (some fans would argue that's as a result of the unnecessarily negative tactics) but they are suspect from set-pieces as Motherwell exposed ruthlessly.

Hibs were very impressive for 45 minutes against Inverness on Saturday but let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2.

They had plenty of good delivery from wide areas but just lacked a killer instinct in the absence of Leigh Griffiths.

Captain James McPake was only denied a goal by a fantastic stop by Caley keeper Ryan Esson and is always a big threat in the air from corners and free-kicks. If Aberdeen are as lax as they were last weekend they could be in trouble.

Backing McPake to be first goalscorer each-way at 33/1 with bet365 isn't the worst bet around, especially as they offer unlimited places in the each-way market at a third of the odds.

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