Airdrieonians vs HeartsScottish Cup, KO: 17:00 Feb 11, 2024, Excelsior Stadium
TWO of the most in-form clubs in the country meet in the Scottish Cup on Sunday when Airdrie host Hearts.
Steven Naismith has gone from being viewed as under serious pressure earlier in the season with Jambo fans not happy to a contender for Manager of the Year after a huge upturn in fortunes.
The Gorgie club have now won an impressive nine out of ten matches in all competitions and if they hadn't made such a sluggish start where they only won three of their opening ten games, they would be challenging the Old Firm.
Of course, the catalyst for this is striker and captain Lawrence Shankland – who has now scored 52 per cent of all Hearts' league goals after his strike won it for them in midweek at St Johnstone.
However, they won't get it easy in Lanarkshire against an Airdrie side also on a terrific run.
The Diamonds were only promoted from League One last season, but are going great guns having won five out of their last six games.
And they have already claimed a Premiership scalp by knocking out St Johnstone in the last round.
How the bookies view it
Hearts are solid odds-on favourites across the board as you would expect with 8/11 being about the best price around with Coral.
Recent head to heads
The last time they met was also in the Scottish Cup in 2020 and Hearts cruised to a 5-0 win at Tynecastle.
Players to watch
Bulgarian striker Nikolay Todorov actually had a two-year spell at Hearts when he was younger. He's also a striker in form having netted in five of his last six games. He is 3/1 to score anytime on Sunday with Ladbrokes.
Anything above evens for Lawrence Shankland to score these days is backable and he is 23/20 to net with UniBet having scored in nine of his last ten matches, totalling ten goals.
Anything else catch the eye?
This should be a highly competitive cup tie and it could be that Hearts just edge this in what should be a tight encounter.
Seven of Airdrie's last eight games have been under 2.5 goals and Hearts tend not to score too many goals despite Shankland. The call is under 2.5 goals at evens with Ladbrokes.
Of Hearts' recent winning run, six of their last seven wins have been by one goal – only against Aberdeen did they win by two although they got away with a controversial VAR decision in their favour too.
Go for a Hearts win by a one-goal winning margin at 11/4 with bet365.
This Scottish Cup match between Airdrieonians and Hearts will be played on Feb 11, 2024 and kick off at 17:00. Check below for our tipsters best Airdrieonians vs Hearts prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.