Hearts in a jam at home
Gareth Friel predicts more woe for Hearts on Boxing Day when they host Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership.
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For many observers Hearts are already doomed to relegation from the Scottish Premiership. If the Jambos are to pull off a miraculous escape, they must surely beat Kilmarnock at Tynecastle on Boxing Day.
It's the first of four successive matches against sides in the bottom six. Hearts are 14 points adrift of Ross County having started the campaign with a 15-point deduction and if they don't begin to make inroads into that deficit soon, it will be too late.
Hearts' start to the campaign suggested they would make a real fight for survival with Hibs and Aberdeen both beaten at Tynecastle.
Unfortunately for Jambos fans, their side didn't manage to keep that sort of form up. In fact, they've seen their side fail to score in five of their last six at home, a worrying stat especially given the rate they've been shipping goals recently.
Celtic stuck seven past them at Tynecastle earlier this month in the Scottish Cup and they've conceded eight in the three league games since.
Killie on the other hand, have won two of their last three, although they had lost their previous four. Allan Johnston's side have only won once away all season but won't have a better chance of making it two than against Hearts.
A win would take Kilmarnock 21 points clear of their opponents. The 7/2 about them winning to nil appeals, but given their struggles on the road I prefer the 6/4 on the win.
Aberdeen have won four on the bounce and Barry Robson has been a big part of the Dons' success this term.
The former Scotland midfielder scored in his last two and is priced at a fairly big looking 5/1 to do likewise against Motherwell on Boxing Day.
Robson is a big threat from set-pieces and is one of the best penalty takers around. He displayed both qualities last weekend at Inverness.
Aberdeen are on a roll and Robson is worth getting with to score at anytime.