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Hearts set for second home derby win of season over Hibernian

Since drawing the last Edinburgh derby at Easter Road, Hearts have recorded seven straight Scottish Championship wins, conceding just twice. As the Jambos lead Hibernian by a massive 19 points in the race for Premiership promotion, Coral make the hosts odds-on 19/20 favourites to win the latest renewal of this bitter rivalry.

Hibs are 11/4 outsiders to upset the division leaders at Tynecastle, despite hammering demoralised Rangers 4-0 after Ally McCoist’s departure from Ibrox over Christmas in their last away outing. Another derby day draw comes in at 5/2.

With only an automatic promotion place available to the winners, and a play-off facing the runners-up in the Scottish Championship, at least one of the three giants is going to be disappointed. That does not look like it will be Hearts, though, who have such a commanding lead.

The Jambos are unbeaten in their last four Edinburgh debries, but the bet that appeals most here is a home win and both teams scoring at a tasty 10/3. A repeat scoreline of 2-1 to Hearts from their last Tynecastle clash with Hibernian back in August, meanwhile, is even better at 8/1.

As with any derby day, discipline will be key, and it’s not something hand on heart that punters can rely on when these bitter rival Scottish capital clubs collide. There have been four red cards in as many previous encounters.

Who will be the goal-getting heroes that will be the respective toasts or scourge of Edinburgh? James Keatings scored in all four of Hearts’ matches in December, so is understandably even-money to net again anytime. Punters will be better off backing the ex-Celtic and Hamilton striker to grab the opener, something he did in all those games last month, at 4/1.

Versatile Jambos player Callum Paterson, meanwhile, has two in his last three outings, and previous derby goals on his CV too, so is a fabulous 5/1 anytime scorer chance.

For Hibs, strike pairing Jason Cummings (15/8) and Dominique Malonga (2/1) have both netted twice in the three outings over the festive period, and are the main goal threat to hosts Hearts.

Hibernian boss Alan Stubbs feels his side can bridge the gap on the league leaders here, though. “Hearts have had a fantastic start to the season and are rightly where they are, but we feel as if we are a match for them, he said.

“In both of the games [against Hearts this season] we could have won. There have been factors in the games that have not gone our way, but we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves.

“They have been very good and the reason why they have got a commanding lead is because of that, so we know it’s going to be tough and we have to raise our performance level even greater from the Rangers game to get a result.

“Hearts and Robbie [Neilson, manager] will know they have to raise their game as well against us. It’s two really good teams who are in good form, and I’m hoping it’s going to be spoken about for football reasons rather than any other reasons.”

Back Hearts, however, to win with both teams being on target at that tasty 10/3 price.