Hibernian vs Heart of MidlothianScottish Premiership, KO: 12:00 Aug 7, 2022, Easter Road
THE first blockbuster clash of the new SPFL Premiership season takes place on just the second weekend as Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian clash in the Edinburgh derby.
Hibs have home advantage but owner Ron Gordon is upset that they're hosting the Jambos so early in the season, insisting it makes no business sense.
New gaffer Lee Johnson would also have liked more time to bed in all his new players before facing rivals who have kept their star turns from last term and strengthened their squad.
Both teams kicked off the campaign with wins last weekend but neither particularly convinced. Hibernian needed a scrappy late goal from Josh Campbell to see off 10-man St Johnstone while Hearts survived a first-half battering from Ross County before sealing a 2-1 win.
That last-gasp win in Perth took some of the heat off the Hibees after an early exit from the League Cup but fans will start grumbling again if they follow it up with a derby defeat at home.
Hearts certainly look in a better place than their city rivals at the moment but they have played fewer competitive games than Hibs as teams playing in Europe don't take part in the League Cup group stage. It took them a while to get going against County last weekend and another sluggish start in the derby could prove costly.
How the bookies view it
Despite Hearts bossing this fixture last season, the bookies are playing it cagey with the Jambos 9/5 at Ladbrokes and Hibernian 17/10 with Betfred. I wouldn't be hugely surprised if this one ended level and the draw pays 11/5 at Betway.
Recent head to head
Heart of Midlothian have bossed this derby of late, going six unbeaten and winning four of those matches. They also haven't lost at Easter Road since a 2-0 defeat four years ago (below). There was only one meeting in Leith last term as Hibs failed to reach the top six and that ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Players to watch
Elias Melkersen has looked pretty lively for Hibs so far this season, although the young Norwegian has often failed to provide a finish. His pace makes him a threat and he's 11/4 at Paddy Power for anytime scorer.
Alan Forrest scored on his competitive Hearts debut last weekend and the former Livingston winger looks like a good addition. He's 7/2 with Paddy Power for another strike in the derby and it looks a bit overpriced.
Anything else catch the eye?
I cashed in by backing the half-time draw last weekend when Hibernian faced St Johnstone and that bet is always a good option in a derby. It pays a best evens at BoyleSports for this one.
Refs are usually busy when these Edinburgh rivals collide and we saw eight yellows and a red in the last meeting. It was Joe Newell who was sent off in that game and the Hibs midfielder is a tempting 2/1 at Bet365 to be carded again. For a Jambos sinner, Peter Haring appeals at 6/4 with the same firm.
Hearts won most corners in three of the four derbies last term so it could pay to back a repeat in this one at 23/20 with BetVictor.
This Scottish Premiership match between Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian will be played on Aug 7, 2022 and kick off at 12:00. Check below for our tipsters best Hibernian vs Heart of Midlothian prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.