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Hibs strongly fancied to regain bragging rights against Hearts

| 01.01.2014

Terry Butcher’s Hibernian outfit can secure a rare Edinburgh Derby victory over neighbours Hearts at Easter Road, with the home side 8/11 to emerge victorious.

Hearts travel across town rooted to the bottom of the Scottish Premiership and still labouring with a negative points total following a 15-point deduction at the start of the campaign.

That sanction for entering administration has severely hampered manager Gary Locke’s side, and with just one league win in their last 15 attempts, the future looks bleak for the Jambos.

However, the trip to face a resurgent Hibs team under Butcher’s charge might not be so daunting as the strugglers bid to complete a hat-trick of league and cup wins over their rivals this season.

That makes the 5/2 offered by Ladbrokes for a draw, or even the 4/1 for a Hearts victory, a little more appealing.

But the hosts will be eager to improve a run of just two wins in their last 18 encounters in all competitions against The Jam Tarts.

And this meeting against Locke’s patched-up side represents the perfect opportunity for Hibs to launch an assault on the top six.

Since Butcher has taken the helm, Hibernian have only suffered one defeat in six Premiership outings – a narrow 1-0 reverse at champions Celtic.

Further evidence of their revival under the former Inverness supremo is the fact that they’ll head into this contest following consecutive victories against Ross County and Kilmarnock respectively.

The latter of those, a 3-0 home thumping of Killie, was the first time Hibs have scored more than two goals in the league this season, potentially adding value to the 8/11 about this match containing less than three goals.

Added to that, the previous seven Edinburgh clashes have seen the number of goals scored fall under that mark, suggesting that a cagey victory rather than a rout could be in store.

Possible goalscorers include Hibernian striker James Collins, a 5/1 shout to open proceedings and net for the first time since early December.

Meanwhile, better value could lie in backing Hearts’ Ryan Stevenson to get on the scoresheet first at odds of 7/1.

The ex-Ipswich midfielder made the difference when these two sides last met in the League Cup quarter-final with his late strike landing an unlikely victory.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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William Geldart

William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.