Despite their first game of the season – a Friday night fixture – ending in a 0-0 draw with Dundee United, it was anything but dull. As far as goalless games go, this was a 10/10 and provided a mobbed Maryhill with excellent entertainment.
I do expect more of the same tonight between Thistle and Hearts. Predicting the outcome of tonight’s match will prove difficult but I believe with great conviction that a barnstorming cup-tie type of game with great excitement will take place this evening.
Both teams come into this tie on the back of excellent wins. Partick won away to Ross County – never an easy place for any team to go – and won convincingly 3-1. The young Hearts team threw off the shackles of their off field problems and grabbed a morale boosting home win in the Edinburgh Derby. Hibs look in a forlorn state after that 1-0 defeat but that is for tomorrow’s preview! Both these teams badly need points. The newly promoted Jags aim is for survival in this year’s Premiership and they have got off to a great unbeaten start, with four points accumulated from their first two games.
Their young Edinburgh counterparts have the same target – to remain in the Premiership. Docked fifteen points for going into administration, their victory last week brought them to minus twelve points – sixteen points behind their opponents tonight. Hearts are obvious favourites in most pundits’ books (including myself) to get relegated, therefore every game for them is going to be like a cup final!
Jags defender Jordan McMillan still has the ankle injury which has kept him out of action this season. Hearts have lost the services of the popular midfielder Ryan Stevenson for at least three months after the player suffered a nasty medial ligament injury in last week’s derby match. This is something Hearts could really do without in their current perilous situation.
As already stated, I expect both teams to really go for it tonight and we could be in for a glut of goals/goalmouth incidents and maybe some ‘cardy’ incidents! ( Just made that last word up but I think you get my meaning with ‘cardy incidents!). I do think, though, that Partick pose a greater goal threat than Hearts. They have several players capable of hitting the back of the net, with Lawless already joint top goal scorer in the Premiership with two goals. Hearts eighteen year old Callum Paterson is their solitary league goal scorer.
Prediction: in what should be a frenetic atmosphere, home advantage and a greater goal threat says it’s a Partick Thistle win for me.
Written by Patrick Conway