Hearts v Hibernian preview

Hearts v Hibs

Difficult to call a winner in this season’s first Edinburgh derby, with both sides getting off to a stuttering start.

Hearts restored some pride midweek as they made the journey to North London on and came away with a 0-0 draw against Spurs in the second leg of the Europa league qualifier.

Paulo Sergio’s used the game to rest key players ahead of derby clash although the Portuguese manager will have been impressed with the performances of Ryan McGowan, Scott Robinson, Jamie MacDonald and Gordon Smith that John Sutton, Stephen Elliott and Jamie Hamill should all feature.

Hibernian were buoyed by a 5-0 thumping of Berwick Rangers in the League Cup on Tuesday, but are unlikely to get carried away with one result against inferior opposition.

‘We did okay tonight and it’s a positive result. It’s good to come back and show the confidence the players did. You want to put the goal under threat and I don’t think we could’ve done any more – it was as impressive as you would want against a team from a lower division. There’s nothing to pat ourselves on the back about. We won’t take great credit from it, but fair dues to them, they deserved the scoreline tonight’, said Colin Calderwood.

Calderwood is hoping that striker Junior Agogo will be fit for Hibs’ trip across the city on Sunday. Agogo has managed just 45 minutes of action since signing for Hibs in the summer due to a thigh injury. Calderwood is keen to see the 32 year-old back in action,

‘He is running and he is getting involved in a bit of ball work. Would I like him involved at the weekend? Yes, I would. Would I rather have him involved for the rest of the season? I definitely would.’

On loan striker Phil Airey is unavailable, following an injury he sustained in training.

Striker Akpo Sodje scored against Berwick and Calderwood has to decide if he will play him against Hearts, or take a risk with Agogo,

‘We’ve got to make a judgment towards the end of the week whether we put him in. Akpo (Sodje] will be way ahead of Junior now in terms of fitness and we have to take that into account.’

Ian Black returns following however Kevin Kyle remains a doubt meanwhile new signing Richie Towell could go straight into the starting line-up after signing on loan from Celtic.

Calderwood is also hoping to push through the paperwork for the imminent loan signing of Leigh Griffiths, but it is doubtful whether the Wolves striker will sign in time to feature on Sunday.

Hearts (from): Kello, Hamill, Grainger, Jonsson, Webster, Elliott, Driver, Templeton, Obua, Sutton, Stevenson, McGowan, Novikovas, Skacel, Smith, Zaliukas, Robinson, MacDonald, Mrowiec.

Hibs (from): Stack, Palsson, Booth, Hanlon, O’Hanlon, Murray, Stephens, Osbourne, Wotherspoon, Galbraith, Scott, Thornhill, Stevenson, Sproule, O’Connor, Sodje, Towell, Brown.

Prediction: Draw


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