'Can't feel any degree of comfort': Journalists' predictions for Hearts v Hamilton
Our online team give their predictions ahead of this Saturday's match at Tynecastle.
Mark Atkinson: A hugely important match for Hearts as they begin a series of more favourable fixtures. Hamilton can be a pain in the backside on their own patch, but I never really fancy them away from home. They've become more open under Rice and that may play into Hearts' hands. I expect the Jambos to be motivated and with the return of Steven Naismith and the good form of Washington, it's hard to look past the hosts. Prediction: Hearts win.
Joel Sked: It is hard to call this a must-win match due to the dynamic at Hearts but to prevent Tynecastle becoming a really hostile, bordering on venomous, location on Saturday afternoon a win is required. Not just that, but an early goal and positive, attacking performance. That being said, no matter the situation, a home match against Accies is must-win. These are the types of matches which should be bread and butter. Yet, in the league, Craig Levein's men have won just two matches in EH11 in 2019. The Hearts boss will know the pressure is increasing regarding his position in the dugout, and he'll know that no matter what he does he won't win over a 'pile' of fans. A good run is required and Accies present the perfect opposition to start that, simply because they are not very good. Prediction: Hearts win 2-0.
Anthony Brown: While their defeat at Celtic Park on Sunday has left them joint bottom of the table, Hearts showed enough in their previous match - the Betfred Cup win at Motherwell a fortnight ago - to suggest they are capable of being a good side once the majority of their main players are fit and firing. The increasingly impressive Washington, buoyed by goals in his last two games, looks equipped to lead the charge as Hearts belatedly get their league campaign off the ground with a convincing victory. Prediction: Hearts 3 Hamilton 0
Neil McGlade: This is a huge game for the Gorgie men, make no mistake about it. On the face of it, the prospect of Hamilton Accies pitching up at Tynecastle should hold little fear for supporters but that’s not the case where tomorrow’s game is concerned. Hearts simply have to find a way to win, at whatever cost. If the Jambos fail to take all three points, I don’t feel there would be any way back for Levein. Hearts are superior from 1 to 11 than their opponents so any excuses will fall on deaf ears. I see this weekend producing a change in the club’s fortunes and they should win quite comfortably. Prediction: Hearts win.
Craig Fowler: There have been several occasions in 2019 when I've looked at the Hearts team, looked at the opposing, rubbed my hands together and gone, 'should actually get a result today'. Then the same players start playing and I quickly remember that, for their collective talent, they seem wholly incapable of actually performing once the referee blows his whistle. It has turned me into a hardened cynic and I, therefore, can't feel any degree of comfort in the Jambos picking up three points. However, Accies are another matter. They've got a dreadful record at Tynecastle in recent history and are about the only team I've got complete confidence in Hearts beating. Prediction: Home win - and an emphatic one at that.