'There's still something missing': Journalists' predictions for East Fife v Hearts

Our online team try to successfully pick the final game from Hearts' Betfred Cup group stage campaign as Craig Levein's men travel to East Fife.

Friday, 26th July 2019, 12:42 pm
Jamie Walker in action as Hearts defeated East Fife two years ago.

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Neil McGlade: By jove Hearts made it difficult for themselves in midweek against Stenhousemuir. Nevertheless, they got the win in the end. However, some supporters just expect to turn up and see their team score a barrel load of goals against lower league opposition. That doesn't always turn out to be the case as we've seen on several occasions already in this competition. Irrespective of their struggles against the Warriors, Hearts will pick up another three points at Methill this weekend to win Group A. Prediction: Hearts win.

Mark Atkinson: I did not expect Hearts to toil so much in breaking down Stenhousemuir on Wednesday, although the tight scoreline was in part down to an inspired performance by Graeme Smith in the Warriors’ goal. Hearts had a hiccup at New Bayview in this tournament last season, but they are in a better place 12 months on. May not be pretty, but the Jambos will get the job done here.

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Jamie Walker in action as Hearts defeated East Fife two years ago.

Patrick McPartlin: East Fife have been a funny team in the tournament so far, losing to Cowdenbeath in a game where they would have hoped for a result, beating Stenhousemuir which was to be expected, but then beating Dundee United at Tannadice. New Bayview is a tight pitch and someone somewhere has no doubt written a script where former Hibs player Aaron Dunsmore scores the winner, but I think Hearts - despite their slog against Stenhousemuir - have enough quality to secure the win. Prediction: 2-0 Hearts.

Craig Fowler: I'm going to dispense with the usual 'who's going to win?' prediction because, of course, I'm going with Hearts. They're playing a League One club and, even though they've not been convincing in two of their three Betfred Cup games so far, I'd be entering Mrs Lovejoy levels of hysteria if I backed the part-time team here. So here's the bold prediction for the match: a Hearts striker will actually score a goal. I know it's hard to imagine but I've just got a sneaking feeling that a striker will find the back of the net. I'll even go one further and predict it'll be Uche Ikpeazu.

Joel Sked: On Wednesday I predicted a comfortable Hearts win. Well, that won't be happening again. While a glut of chances were passed up, there was still something missing from the Hearts team. Actually two things: Steven Naismith and Peter Haring. Until those two are back in the team the Tynecastle side won't be at their slickest. The last time they travelled to Methil Raith Rovers made it difficult for Craig Levein's side. Following a confident and deserved 2-0 win at Dundee United, East Fife will likely do similar. It should be another good test at trying to break down teams and show a clinical side. Prediction: Hearts to win 2-0.