Bannon: Hearts can go ‘virtually undefeated’

Hearts have been in emphatic form at home. Pic: Greg Macvean
Hearts have been in emphatic form at home. Pic: Greg Macvean
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Championship title rivals Hearts and Rangers can go through the remainder of the season “virtually undefeated” against all sides apart from each other, according to former Hearts midfielder Eamonn Bannon.

The Jambos are nine points clear of the Ibrox side at the top of the table and have lost none of their ten games so far as they prepare for Sunday’s Edinburgh derby at Easter Road. Rangers, with a game in hand, have lost only to Hearts and Hibs.

Bannon watches both Edinburgh clubs’ home matches and believes that the Championship is full of low-quality teams in relation to what the “big three”, particularly Hearts and Rangers, have at their disposal.

“For me, it will be either Hearts or Rangers to win the title, with Hibs next,” he said. “The rest of the league is way below that standard. I’ve seen all the teams and they’re mediocre. You have to imagine Hearts and Rangers will go through the rest of the season virtually undefeated. It will be the games against each other that will decide who wins the title.

“The only team I’ve not seen with my own eyes so far is Rangers, but they’ll have to be pretty good if they’re to beat Hearts, especially at Tynecastle.”

While Hearts have been earning rave reviews this season, Bannon feels a touch of perspective needs to be applied when assessing their form.

He said: “Probably the best benchmark of where Hearts really are came against Celtic in the League Cup. They gave as good as they got for a while but, ultimately, Celtic beat them 3-0. The opposition in the Championship is, frankly, not that good.”