Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Struggling Heart of Midlothian welcome high-flying Motherwell to Tynecastle on Saturday afternoon, for what should be an interesting Scottish Premiership clash. Daniel Stendel’s Hearts team moved off the bottom of the table with an impressive midweek 3-1 win at Edinburgh rivals Hibernian, and will be full of confidence heading into this clash with the Steelmen. The Lanarkshire side thumped Ross County 4-1 in midweek, so will be full of confidence themselves. Here, we take a closer look at the betting action you can find in a potentially thrilling Scottish Premiership match.
For Hearts boss Daniel Stendel this match is all about building on the momentum generated by a superb 3-1 victory in the Edinburgh derby over Hibernian at Easter Road earlier this week. The Jambos are now unbeaten in three games in all competitions, having drawn 2-2 at home to Hamilton Academical and beaten Rangers 1-0 at home in the Scottish Cup quarter-final last weekend. Midfielder Sean Clare, a top performer against Hibs, highlighted how strong the Hearts’ defence has been in recent games. That strong defence will be needed if the Jambos are to continue their good form this weekend, as Motherwell are in good golascoring form.
For Motherwell gaffer Stephen Robinson this game is all about his team tightening their grip on third place in the Scottish Premiership table behind Celtic and Rangers. His team’s 4-1 win over Ross County at home in midweek will have restored spirit to his players after a tough run of games that has seen them lose to St Mirren twice – in the Scottish Cup (on penalties after a replay) and in the league last weekend. After gaining just a solitary league point in the whole of February, the Steelmen will hope that the spring brings an improvement in their fortunes as they push for a Europa League spot.
These two sides have already played each other on three previous occasions in the 2019/20 season. The first of those games was in the Scottish League Cup back in August. Hearts came out on top 2-1 that day, and would go on to reach the semi-final of the competition, where they were beaten by Rangers.
The teams would meet again a month later at Tynecastle in the Scottish Premiership. It was the Jambos who would come off second best this time, with the Steelmen recording an impressive 3-2 away win in the capital. Jermaine Hilton would score the crucial third goal for the Lanarkshire outfit. A late Hearts goal from Ryotaro Meshino in the 86th minute proved merely a consolation strike in the end.
The third meeting between the sides would also end in a victory for ‘Well. In December at Fir Park, Stephen Robinson’s side would win a close game 1-0. Chris Long scored the game’s deciding goal in the 40th minute of the contest. Jake Mulraney was sent off for Hearts in injury time at the end of a game that produced just four shots on target in total.
Last season the sides met three times in the Scottish Premiership. Hearts won two of these games 1-0, with Motherwell taking the other 2-1. They also played each other in the quarter finals of the Scottish League Cup, with Hearts winning 4-2 that day in Edinburgh. League matches between these teams in recent seasons have therefore been tight affairs that are often been decided by a margin of one goal.
With that in mind, some punters might be interested in the odds of 3.75 that Paddy Power are offering on Hearts to win to nil. If you think that ‘Well might triumph by a similar margin then the odds are 6.00. This is a very tough game to call, given both the recent form of the teams and their mutual history. Our prediction, though, is that home advantage will give an improving Hearts team the edge and they will snatch a 1-0 victory.