The Hearts view: Jambos looking to extend Edinburgh derby streak
Hearts go into Saturday’s third Edinburgh derby hoping to at least maintain their one-point lead over Hibernian. John Menzies previews the derby from a Hearts perspective.
Craig Levein’s men will be looking for a repeat of the previous derby this season, in which they defeated the Hibees 1-0 at Easter Road, courtesy of an Olly Lee wonderstrike.
However, the Tynecastle side will be looking for a much better performance than the one they produced during Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Rangers. Before the game in Glasgow, Hearts had started to regain some form, having won three of the previous four games. They’ll be looking to bounce back for tomorrow’s mouthwatering occasion.
This fixture historically favours the home side, and Hearts will be hoping that is the case tomorrow. The Jambos have lost only one of their last 17 home matches against Hibs, that came in 2013. And although their home form hasn’t been as impressive as last season, Craig Levein’s side have only lost two of their last 11 at Tynecastle Park. They are also unbeaten in their last three Edinburgh derbies.
And Levein will be boosted by the news that talisman Uche Ikpeazu has been passed fit for tomorrow’s game. The Englishman has become a fan’s favourite in Gorgie since joining from Cambridge United last summer, and he’ll be looking to net in a second successive game, having scored the winner in last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Aberdeen – his first league goal since he returned from five months out with a foot injury.
Another man that could also return for Hearts is Michael Smith. The influential right back hasn’t featured for the club since he suffered a thigh injury during the 4-0 win over Auchinleck Talbot back in February. The Northern Irishman has been a key player for Hearts this season, with many of the support seeing his as “Mr Consistent”.
Tomorrow’s match promises to be an intriguing and feisty encounter, and it’s one that Hearts will be desperate not to lose.