In the last fixture of the SPL’s long weekend, a win for either team at Easter Road tonight where HIBERNIAN play ABERDEEN, would put that team top of the bottom half – or seventh in the whole division! Hibs’ league form prior to the split was poor, with three losses and three draws in their last six SPL matches. Aberdeen were slightly better, managing to record one victory, two draws and three defeats in their last six matches.
In the league meetings between the two Aberdeen are undefeated, with two wins and a draw. They won 1-0 at tonight’s venue in the earlier match this season. Hibs have, however, recorded a victory over the Dons, a 1-0 home win in the Scottish Cup fifth round.
Hibs have now made it to the final, their last competitive match being that epic 4-3 extra time victory over Falkirk. A genuine ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ performance, the Edinburgh side will be hoping for a repeat of their second half performance for tonight’s game.
Aberdeen, on the other hand, go into this match with Derek McInnes in charge for the first time. They will surely be wanting to impress their new boss and McInnes himself would obviously like to get his first win as soon as possible.
We therefore have a couple of interesting factors which could give an edge to what could have been an otherwise meaningless match. Hibs players are fighting for a place in the Cup Final team, while the Aberdeen players will be wanting to show McInnes what they are capable of.
Aberdeen, apart from long term casualties Considine and Clark, have a full squad to choose from. Hibs have Ryan McGivern suspended but winger Matt Done is available after his Scottish Cup suspension. Gary Deegan, Scott Robertson and Kevin Thomson are all fighting to shrug off knocks in time for tonight’s fixture.
There has only been one goal between these two teams this season, whenever a victory has been recorded. I expect another close contest tonight.
Prediction: I can’t split the two teams and am therefore going for the draw.
By Mark Williamson