Hibs sweat over fitness of Anthony Stokes and Danny Swanson

Anthony Stokes (left) and Danny Swanson pictured in training at East Mains last week. The pair are a doubt for the visit of Hearts. Picture: SNS Group
Anthony Stokes (left) and Danny Swanson pictured in training at East Mains last week. The pair are a doubt for the visit of Hearts. Picture: SNS Group
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Hibs could be without two key players against Hearts with Anthony Stokes and Danny Swanson both struggling with injuries.

Stokes, who scored in the 4-2 loss to Celtic in the Betfred Cup semi final at the weekend, sustained an ankle injury during the match at Hampden while Swanson picked up a knock during training.

John McGinn walks out on to the Hampden pitch before the Betfred Cup semi final match between Hibs and Celtic. Picture: Getty ImageS

John McGinn walks out on to the Hampden pitch before the Betfred Cup semi final match between Hibs and Celtic. Picture: Getty ImageS

The absence of the duo would be a blow for Neil Lennon as he looks to continue Hibs’ run against Hearts.

Hibs are unbeaten in seven matches against the Jambos, including four Scottish Cup matches, and sit two points behind their rivals going into the first derby of the season.

Meanwhile, midfielder John McGinn reckons Hearts won’t be looking forward to the short trip across the city as he insisted Hibs are aiming to keep up the run.

McGinn said: “To go from a semi-final straight to an Edinburgh derby, there is nothing better.

“We are going to try to take the positives from Saturday and I don’t think Hearts will be looking forward to playing us.

“It’s our home game, we will take the game to them, and hopefully we get as good a result as we have been getting against Hearts.”

McGinn recalled his first Edinburgh derby, at Tynecastle, when Hibs came back from 2-0 down at half time to draw 2-2 and earn a replay on their way to winning the Scottish Cup in May 2016.

The former St Mirren midfielder added: “In my first Edinburgh derby we were 2-0 down at half-time and the gaffer [Alan Stubbs] then was different class.

“He came in, he wasn’t panicking and he said: ‘Listen, you are a better team than Hearts, you are just not showing it yet’.

“We managed to turn it round and ever since then they have struggled against us. It’s up to us to keep it going now.

“They are a bit more steely now under Craig Levein and they have a lot of good players.

“So we know it will be a tough test but hopefully we can keep that run going and make it as horrible as it has been for them in the last couple of seasons.”

And McGinn insisted that the Hibs players are aiming to make it a ‘night to remember’, adding: “When I joined Hibs, I didn’t realise [derbies] were going to be so enjoyable.

“It’s hectic, it’s intense, it’s a brilliant game to play in, especially when it’s a sold-out Easter Road in midweek. You can’t beat that.

“It’s up to us to make it as special as the last two games at Easter Road.”