‘Simply put, Hearts are better’: Journalists’ predictions for Hearts v Hamilton

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Last time around there were three correct predictions as none of our online team opted for a Hearts victory away to Aberdeen, but will that be the same this time around as Hamilton visit Tynecastle?

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Steven Naismith has recently returned to the Hearts side after being absent through injury. Picture: SNS

Steven Naismith has recently returned to the Hearts side after being absent through injury. Picture: SNS

Mark Atkinson: I’m going to back Hearts here, although my prediction is based on how inept Hamilton are on the road. It won’t be pretty, but Craig Levein’s men should get the pre-derby confidence boost they crave with a scrappy victory.

Craig Fowler: An early goal is imperative for Levein and his struggling side. The crowd and the players need that lift and, if they get one, we could see Hearts rack up the kind of comfortable victory required to give them the much-needed confidence boost. Otherwise the fans will get on their back and another gruelling 90 minutes will be in store. Hamilton, who just recorded a draw against Kilmarnock, could easily steal something, but they’ve yet to record two positive results in succession all season. That, combined with the Tynecastle advantage, will be enough for Hearts to win, but I can’t see it being all that convincing.

Joel Sked: The Tynecastle side need an urgent pick-me-up ahead of the derby at Easter Road on 29 December. What better opposition than Hamilton Academical, a team who have failed to beat Hearts in the last nine outings? The Hearts support’s patience has been tested in recent weeks but with Steven Naismith back at Tynecastle and having got nearly 80 minutes under his belt at the weekend he should give the fan base a lift and a bit of confidence, something which is clearly lacking in the team as a whole. Yet, simply put, Hearts are better than Hamilton. Home win.

Anthony Brown: Hamilton have been stuffy opponents for Hibs, Rangers and Kilmarnock in recent matches, but Hearts, despite recent setbacks on the road, should have enough about them to make it back-to-back home wins. This can be the match for Naismith to get back on the scoresheet and start the process of reasserting himself as one of the league’s most effective players. Prediction: Home win

Patrick McPartlin: Despite defeat on the road to Aberdeen, the return of Naismith is cause for optimism among the Hearts support. Of his 13 goals this season, eight have come at Tynecastle. The on-loan Norwich City striker clearly relishes playing in front of a bumper home crowd and Hamilton, a team with just two wins on the road this season, will be the perfect opponent for Hearts to build on their 1-0 home win over Motherwell. Levein’s side are still missing a handful of players but should have enough to overcome an Accies side who are unlikely to trouble the Jambos too much. Prediction: Home win

Neil McGlade: Hearts’ slide down the Premiership table has been alarming to say the least. However, when you’ve picked up just one win since October 23 then you’ll take any kind of scrappy, off-the-shin goal just to experience that winning sensation again. That’s how I see this one unfolding at Tynecastle when Hamilton visit this afternoon. If the Jambos have any aspirations of being in the mix for a top-four finish come the end of the season then they must pick up all three points here. The hosts will shade it. Home win