'The general air of malaise circling Easter Road could boost Livi' - Journalists' predictions for Hibs v Livingston
Our online team try to predict the correct result as Hibs host Livingston in a Wednesday night clash in the Capital
It's hard to back Hibs right now. They are always liable toconcede a goal and seem incapable of showing mental fortitude when ahead.
There is now serious pressure on Paul Heckingbottom, which will be transmitted from the stands if Hibs fall behind to the visitors.
However, it’s draws rather than losses right now and I expect that to continue, as Livingston haven’t been great recently either. Prediction: Draw
A difficult game to call. On one hand, Hibs have shown themselves to be hard to beat and perfectly capable of getting themselves into winning positions against teams of all different standards over the past month and a bit.
On the other, they have lacked the fortitude to see out a victory when the heat is on. Livingston have proven themselves capable of beating Celtic recently but have been unable to deal with the likes of Hearts, Hamilton and Kilmarnock.
For all the plaudits the Lions have had, they have won only one of their last seven. If Hibs have learned any lessons from their recent setbacks, they should be capable of ekeing out a victory. Prediction: Hibs win
If Lyndon Dykes is still missing for the Lions then you *should* fancy Hibs to take three points in this one.
Scott Robinson does a respectable job as the lone striker without the Australian-born forward in the side, working his backside off and leading from the front by example, but he has neither the target-man skillset nor the scoring touch of his team-mate.
However, you absolutely cannot rely on Hibs to beat anyone these days, so I'm not going to make the mistake of picking them again. Prediction: Draw
The wait goes on for Hibs and their long-suffering supporters this season. No wins in the league since August 3, but with 70 minutes on the clock on Saturday and 2-0 up against Ross County, you would have put your mortgage on them putting that one to bed.
But there is a fragility about Hibs this season reminiscent of the side relegated in 2014.
Livingston are no mugs at this level and despite his affection for the club by his own admission, Marvin Bartley will want to prove a point to Paul Heckingbottom. I think Hibs’ search for a win will continue. Prediction: Draw.
Having witnessed Hibs' capitulation from what looked to be a strong position on Saturday afternoon, I'm afraid I can't see a positive result on Wednesday night. In truth, the Hibees were lucky not to be beaten by County, with Brian Graham passing up a glorious chance to equalise before Joe Chalmers did so in stoppage time.
Livingston have already beaten Celtic and given Rangers a run for their money in a Betfred Cup tie, and also beat the Staggies in Dingwall very convincingly back in August. Former Easter Road favourite Marvin Bartley has been running the show in midfield for the West Lothian side and will likely do so again on his return to the Capital - I don't think even the most ardent of Hibs fans could argue otherwise.
Paul Heckingbottom may want to look at shaking up his personnel and tactics to cope with a physically dominant Livi side who, as things stand, should skoosh the midfield battle.
Even then, the Hibs players will have to contend with a discontented support just waiting for the first sign of trouble to air their disapproval and I think the general air of malaise circling the stadium will be a further boost for Livingston. Prediction: Livingston to win
Away to Hamilton who aren't very good. Hibs win. Home to Ross County whose defence is poor and on paper are an inferior team. Hibs win.
You'd certainly think anyway, but that has not been the case. There is a real fragility to Hibs at the moment and the last thing you want is a team like Livingston turning up. They are anything but fragile. A strong spine, consistent performers, everyone knows their role.
These are two very different teams. If Lyndon Dykes starts then the writing will be on the wall for Paul Heckingbottom as the Australian gives them a different dimension. However, he may not make it. Hibs can't wilt, they can't fail to do the basics, like get bodies in front of shots late on in games. Going in front and not winning for five games running points to problems.
It is going to be another tense night at Easter Road. Prediction: Livingston win.