Hibernian vs AberdeenScottish Premiership, KO: 16:30 Aug 30, 2020, Easter Road
HIBERNIAN have made a flying start to the Premiership season but this clash with Aberdeen is the start of a tough run of games that will show if they have a head for heights.
Just goal difference kept Jack Ross' men behind Rangers at the top heading into the weekend, with a home stalemate against Motherwell their only points dropped all season.
I tipped the Hibees to draw at St Johnstone last weekend but they ground out a 1-0 win thanks to an injury-time Stevie Mallan penalty to underline their resolve.
The visit of in-form Aberdeen will provide another test of nerve, with difficult matches against St Mirren, Rangers and Celtic to follow after the international break.
If Hibs can stay near the top after that run of games then it could be a memorable season but first they need to see off a Dons side seeking a fourth successive victory.
Aberdeen's season got off to a dismal start with a home defeat to Rangers followed by eight players breaking Covid-19 rules and forcing three games to be postponed.
But since their return the Pittodrie side haven't put a foot wrong, beating St Johnstone, Livingston and Faroes minnows Runavik, with two of my bets coming up in that Europa League victory.
How the bookies view it
Hibs are slight favourites with the bookies at a best 7/5 with Betfair while Aberdeen are 21/10 with Bet365 and the stalemate 12/5 at Betfred. I wouldn't be too surprised if this ended level but I'm going to back the Hibees to nick it.
Recent head to head
Hibernian cruised to a 3-0 win when Aberdeen came calling last season (below) but that's their only victory in the last nine games with the Dons.
Aberdeen won four of those matches, with the other four drawn, so they certainly won't fear this fixture.
Players to watch
Martin Boyle heads into the game in high spirits after ending speculation over his future by penning a three-year deal. His pace could cause the Dons plenty of problems and he netted twice in that 3-0 win last season.
Boyle is 13/5 with McBookie for anytime scorer and that's good value while he's 13/2 with the same firm to break the deadlock.
Welshman Ryan Hedges came off the bench in Aberdeen's Euro tie with Runavik to blast a hat-trick. That will surely land him a starting jersey here and the winger is a generous 10/3 with McBookie to find the net.
Anything else catch the eye?
The last three meetings of these sides at Easter Road have all produced three goals so I'm tempted to back over 2.5 strikes at 6/5 with Bet365.
These teams are pretty evenly matched so I'd be surprised if either side came out comfortable victors. That makes the 13/8 McBookie are offering on either team winning by a one-goal margin appealing.
This Scottish Premiership match between Hibernian and Aberdeen will be played on Aug 30, 2020 and kick off at 16:30. Check below for our tipsters best Hibernian vs Aberdeen prediction.