Blogs & Opinion


Andy Walker says that Hibs have to start delivering big performances on derby day as they take on Hearts on Thursday

Hibernian - Andy Walker Posted 31st December 2012 view comments

Around 150,000 New Year partygoers packed into Princes St in Scotland's capital for a magnificent Hogmanay party atmosphere and when Hearts and Hibs meet on Thursday night in the latest live SPL clash, it is sure to be a fiery contest.

Hibs will travel the short distance to Tynecastle in confident mood after a marvellous 1-0 victory over Celtic. Leigh Griffiths kept up his impressive goalscoring form but the likelihood is that the Edinburgh Derby will be his last for the club.

Leigh Griffiths: about to play his last game for Hibs?

Leigh Griffiths: about to play his last game for Hibs?

Wolves, understandably, want to do business with a player they paid £150,000 for and extending the loan deal beyond January is not an option for the Midlands club.

Although Griffiths wants to stay and Hibs would love to keep him, it would take a reasonable sum of money to secure his services and I think it is unlikely Hibs will spend the type of cash Wolves are looking for.

Despite many off-field problems, Hearts continually rise to the derby day occasion and have suffered just one defeat in 13 games.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

In order to get away from the embarrassing and humiliating 5-1 Scottish Cup final defeat to their great rivals, Hibs owe it to their supporters to start delivering big performances on derby day.

Match-winners

Despite many off-field problems, Hearts continually rise to the derby day occasion and have suffered just one defeat in 13 games.

Yet again this season, Hearts players have had to contend with delayed wage payments but in fairness to the men in the dressing room, it has strengthened their resolve to stay together and deliver the result the fans are desperate for in the biggest fixture of the season.

Who knows if Saturday's late postponement at Ross County will have a positive or negative affect on Hearts preparations for a game that they know how to handle? In front of their own supporters, Hearts have plenty of potential match-winners. I like the look of Andy Driver, a wide player getting back to his best after injury.

It's easy to forget that Hearts knocked back an offer of £3million from Burnley a few years ago and he's showing everyone now how good he can be.If John Sutton starts, he'll give Hibs captain James McPake the physical challenge that both players relish.

And now that Ryan Stevenson is back at the club, he's another midfield player with the habit of scoring goals on the big occasion.

What we can be sure of is that Hibs will be on a high. Winning against Celtic after drawing at Parkhead earlier this season shows that Pat Fenlon can get some decent results when the pressure is on but this is the one that the supporters want to win above all else.

If it is to be Leigh Griffiths last game for the club, Eoin Doyle has now shown that he can take his place as the main goal threat. I've been impressed with his game outside the box and his desire to get on the end of some excellent build up play from Paul Cairney.

The last time the sides met, Hibs home advantage saw them shade it by a single goal in a Scottish cup-tie. It gave their fans something to cheer about but the players owe them so much more if they are to make up for that painful cup final defeat.

I wonder if they can deliver at the home of their biggest rivals?

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Drop Mario for Madrid

Jamie Carragher says Liverpool must leave out Mario Balotelli to get a result against Real Madrid in the Champions League....

Gary Neville

Nev: United not hitting heights

Gary Neville says Manchester United must not be afraid to “lump it forward” against Chelsea on Sunday....

Graeme Souness

Souness: City must adapt

Graeme Souness says Man City shouldn't play two strikers if they want the win they need in Moscow....

Latest News RSS feeds

Sky Sports Today

Build-up to tonight's Champions League and Sky Bet Football League games plus reaction to Man Utd's 2-2 draw at West Brom

Nev: United not hitting heights

Gary Neville says Manchester United must not be afraid to “lump it forward” against Chelsea on Sunday.

Souness: City must adapt

Graeme Souness says Man City shouldn't play two strikers if they want the win they need in Moscow.

Carra: Drop Mario for Madrid

Jamie Carragher says Liverpool must leave out Mario Balotelli to get a result against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Shaw: I need to do better

Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw admits that his new fans have yet to see him produce his best form.

Features

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are closing in on Raul's UEFA Champions League goalscoring record of 71

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are closing in on Raul's UEFA Champions League goalscoring record of 71

With Barcelona and Real Madrid once again among the favourites for Champions League glory and El Clasico coming up this weekend, the rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shows no signs of abating. There's even a game between Argentina and Portugal in London next month.

Champions League: From Caen to Roma via Lille, Rudi Garcia has beaten the odds and is ready for Bayern Munich

Champions League: From Caen to Roma via Lille, Rudi Garcia has beaten the odds and is ready for Bayern Munich

When Caen were promoted to the French top flight for the first time in their history in 1988, nobody gave them a chance. This was a league full of stars. A glance of the top scorers in Ligue 1 that season reveals the scale of the task: Papin, Hoddle, Weah, Blanc, Cantona and more.

West Brom 2 Man Utd 2: Five talking points including Saido Berahino, Robin van Persie and United's defence

West Brom 2 Man Utd 2: Five talking points including Saido Berahino, Robin van Persie and United's defence

West Brom led twice through fine goals from Stephane Sessegnon and Saido Berahino but each time were pegged back by equally impressive strikes from the visitors. Marouane Fellaini finally found the net for United with a superb finish before Daley Blind’s measured effort secured a point.