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Hearts logo
Scottish Premiership | Gameweek 28
Feb 28, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
Tynecastle Park
Hibs logo

1 - 1

Shankland (45+2' pen.)
Devlin (60'), Vargas (67')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Marcondes (28')
Bushiri (19')

Preview: Hearts vs. Hibernian - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Scottish Premiership clash between Hearts and Hibernian, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hearts will welcome rivals Hibernian to Tynecastle Park on Wednesday for an Edinburgh Derby.

Wednesday's hosts prevailed in a 1-0 away win in the last meeting and boast a strong lead in third place in the Scottish Premiership tabledespite a heavy defeat at the weekend.

Match preview

Hearts manager Steven Naismith reacts on October 29, 2023© Reuters

Hearts return to Tynecastle Park on Wednesday with the aim of making it back-to-back Derby wins over Hibernian and strengthening their standing in third spot in the Scottish Premiership after a heavy loss last time out.

Indeed, Steven Naismith's side went into the weekend in the midst of a fine run of form, having established themselves in the top three of Scotland's top flight with a 10-game unbeaten streak while winning nine of those, starting with a 2-0 victory over defending champions Celtic in mid-December and including a 1-0 away win in the last meeting with Hibernian, as Lawrence Shankland netted the only goal deep into injury time.

A run of six straight triumphs in the new year, culminating in 1-0 and 2-0 wins over St Johnstone and Motherwell respectively, left the Jam Tarts third with 51 points on the board from 26 outings, but they would then see their fine run halted in abrupt fashion at the weekend, travelling to league leaders Rangers and suffering a 5-0 beating.

The hosts led almost from the outset thanks to Mohamed Diomande's second-minute opener, and Oscar Cortes and Cyriel Dessers stretched the lead to three in the first half before Dessers netted a second of the game alongside a Fabio Silva goal to wrap up a dominant home win.

Now with their confidence bound to have taken a knock, albeit still leading fourth-placed Kilmarnock by 11 points in the fight to finish third behind the Old Firm, Hearts will bid to quickly bounce back on Wednesday and keep the bragging rights with a second straight win over their visitors.

Hibernian, meanwhile, head into the third Edinburgh Derby of the season aiming to get one over on their city rivals for the first time this term, having come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at Tynecastle Park in October before suffering the narrow home defeat late in 2023.

The visitors have certainly had the tougher season of the two Edinburgh top-flight clubs, currently sitting seventh in the Premiership with just 30 points on the board from their first 26 outings.

In the midst of the fight for a top-six finish and subsequent place in the Championship group when the league splits, Nick Montgomery's side headed into the weekend in a dismal run of form, having eight games without a win since mid-December, collecting just three points along the way, but they were able to make a crucial return to winning ways as Dundee visited Easter Road.

Dylan Vente had the Hibees ahead in the 35th minute, and after Luke McCowan drew their visitors level 12 minutes from time, Myziane Maolida quickly restored his side's lead to seal a seventh league win of the campaign and stop the rot in the Scottish capital.

Such a result cut the gap to sixth-placed Dundee to two points in the bid for a top-half finish after 33 matches, while St Mirren sit eight points clear in fifth spot, and Hibernian will know they must build a run of results on the back of the weekend's triumph to stand a chance of booking a place in the Championship group.

Hearts Scottish Premiership form:

Hearts form (all competitions):

Hibernian Scottish Premiership form:

Hibernian form (all competitions):

Team News

Hibernian players pose for a team group photo before the match on August 23, 2023© Reuters

Hearts continue to deal with several injury issues, as defenders Craig Halkett and Peter Haring remain confined to the treatment room alongside midfielder Barrie McKay and forward Liam Boyce.

Steven Naismith may opt to make several changes to his starting XI after the weekend's 5-0 defeat, with Cammy Devlin, Macaulay Tait, Alan Forrest and Scott Fraser all fighting to come into the midfield in their 3-5-2 shape after Jorge Grant, Beni Baningime and Calem Nieuwenhof were preferred at Ibrox.

Despite the 5-0 thrashing and competition from Toby Sibbick, Stephen Kingsley, Kye Rowles and Frankie Kent should line up in an unaltered back three, while at the other end of the pitch, star man Lawrence Shankland will continue to lead the line having netted 25 goals in 35 appearances across all competitions this term including the winner in their Edinburgh Derby victory in December.

Nick Montgomery may field an unchanged starting XI from their victory over Dundee on Wednesday, with Jake Doyle-Hayes and Josh Campbell remaining sidelined by injuries.

In their 4-2-3-1 shape, Dylan Vente will continue to lead the line after netting his fourth league goal of the season at the weekend, while Myziane Maolida and Martin Boyle will join Bournemouth loanee Emiliano Marcondes.

Behind them, Nathan Moriah-Welsh should again join Joe Newell at the base of the midfield, while Rocky Bushiri will continue to partner Will Fish at the heart of the back four despite competition from Nectarios Triantis.

Hearts possible starting lineup:
Clark; Kingsley, Kent, Rowles; Atkinson, Nieuwenhof, Grant, Fraser, Cochrane; Shankland, Vargas

Hibernian possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Miller, Fish, Bushiri, Obita; Moriah-Welsh, Newell; Boyle, Marcondes, Maolida; Vente

SM words green background

We say: Hearts 2-1 Hibernian

While the two sides experienced contrasting results at the weekend, Hearts are still in the stronger vein of form, have enjoyed a better season and boast more quality than their visitors, and with home advantage we can only envisage them making it back-to-back Edinburgh Derby wins on Wednesday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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