‘180 minutes left for Hearts fans to endure’: Journalists’ predictions for Aberdeen v Hearts
Our online team try to predict the correct result as Hearts travel to Aberdeen for Friday night football.
Craig Fowler: Craig Levein is going to start wrapping players up in cotton wool to make sure they’re fit for the final. I have no idea how many or who they’ll all be, but Uche Ikpeazu is bound to be one of them. Hearts lack a bit of punch when Ikpeazu is playing and Steven Naismith isn’t, so without either of them in the side there’s very little chance of the visitors grabbing a goal. The sensational drama of the midweek Champions League fixtures was a remainder of football’s unpredictable nature, but a Hearts victory even seems a step too far by those fantastical standards. Prediction: Aberdeen win.
Mark Atkinson: Hearts don’t fare well at Pittodrie at the best of times, so it appears highly unlikely that they will trouble the Dons considering they have very little to play for and will be resting what players they have fit for the Scottish Cup final. Aberdeen also have injury issues, but on home soil and the motivation of third place and guaranteed Europa League football, they should win this. Sam Cosgrove to grab a couple in a routine win.
Joel Sked: 180 minutes. That’s all that Hearts fans have to endure of the league campaign. One which has swung from elation to hope to disbelief to downright apathy. Another miserable 90 minutes are in store and it is difficult to find any real positives to cling to. There is perhaps one and that is Aberdeen, with Dons fans pretty concerned with their own team’s performances. But unlike Hearts they have the capability of eking out results. The Jam Tarts could do with some sort of positive result going into the cup final but it is unlikely to arrive. Aberdeen win.
Neil McGlade: The Jambos can still leapfrog city rivals Hibs into fifth place. However, I don’t think the vast majority of Hearts supporters care one jot. All thoughts are geared towards Saturday, May 25. Levein will use tonight’s trip to Aberdeen and next weekend’s visit to Celtic Park as a chance to firm up his cup final team selection. He admitted this week there are still some positions up for grabs, meaning some of the fringe players are likely to be given an opportunity over the next week or so. With this in mind, Hearts don’t have enough strength in depth to make wholesale changes and still pose the Dons a threat. Prediction: Aberdeen win.
Anthony Brown: In 2016, Hearts finished a Premiership campaign under Robbie Neilson with two wins from nine games - and both victories in that period came against Aberdeen (home and away). Hearts are currently on a run of one league win in seven and that solitary victory was at home to the Dons, so there is the possibility of history repeating itself, in that sense at least, if the Tynecastle side can somehow rouse themselves from their malaise in the Granite City. Their main source of hope for tonight comes from the fact Aberdeen haven’t been particularly great themselves of late and have spilled several points when widely expected to win. However, with the carrot of trying to pip Kilmarnock to third place, the Dons look the likelier winners against a Hearts side unlikely to be anywhere near full strength. Prediction: Home win
Patrick McPartlin: An Aberdeen side chasing third place host a Hearts team desperate to stay fit for a crack at Celtic in the Scottish Cup final, and the smart money would be on a home win. However, the Dons will be without a handful of key players and the Jambos will have players desperate to nail down a spot in the cup final squad. Aberdeen have struggled to turn it on at Pittodrie at times this season and while Hearts’ away form isn’t anything to write home about, Friday night games can often throw up the odd surprising result, as any player in maroon involved in THAT December trip to West Lothian will confirm. I don’t see Hearts winning this, as Aberdeen can be stuffy home or away, but I wouldn’t put it past them to get something from the game. Prediction: Draw
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