Hearts make the short journey across the city to Easter Road on Sunday lunchtime to face Edinburgh rivals Hibernian for the first time since the Tynecastle men crushed Pat Fenlon’s side 5-1 in the William Hill Scottish Cup Final on May 19th.
John McGlynn’s side may have lost key players from that historic triumph such as Stephen Elliott, Suso Santana, Ian Black and Rudi Skacel while striker Craig Beattie has also departed Gorgie but the Scottish Cup holders remain warm favourites at 13/10 (2.30) to defeat the Hibees once again.
A look at the recent history of the clash explains why Hearts retain favouritism. John McGlynn’s side have gone 11 matches without suffering the pain of derby day defeat and, with Hibs slumping to a 3-0 reverse in their opening match of the campaign last weekend, the Jambos should be in confident mood ahead of their trip to Leith.
John Sutton has been in impressive form for Hearts over the summer and notched the first goal for the Jambos in their 2-0 victory over St Johnstone last season and the former Motherwell striker is available at 6/1 (7.0) to score the first goal again on Sunday.
David Templeton is another who will likely be a popular selection in the first goalscorer market with the Jambo faithful is as big as 10/1 (11.0) to break Sunday’s deadlock.
One man, though, who represents outstanding value, is Ryan McGowan. The Australian netted three times for Hearts last season, including two against Hibs, has been deployed in a more advanced role under new manager McGlynn and is chalked up at a massive 33/1 (34.0) with some firms to open the scoring at Easter Road.
In the correct score market, Hearts can be backed at 6/1 (7.0) to win 1-0 while a 2-1 triumph for the Jambos is chalked up at 9/1 (10.0). Hearts’ last trip to Easter Road resulted in a 3-1 win and a repeat of that can be backed at 22/1 (23.0) while those dreaming of a repeat of May’s 5-1 demolition of the Hibees can get odds of 150/1 (151.0) in places.
Hearts fans are certain to enjoy a party atmosphere when Sunday’s derby gets underway. Should the Jambos produce a performance that they are capable of, there is no reason to suggest that those in maroon will still be celebrating at full time.