‘Hibs have perfect motivation’: Journalists’ predictions for Livingston v Hibs
Hibs are looking to make it 16 points from 18 available since the arrival of Paul Heckingbottom when they travel to Livingston on Friday evening. Our online team predicts whether the resurgent side will keep their great run going.
Anthony Brown: Livingston’s excellent home form makes this a formidable test for Hibs, but their impressive victory over Motherwell a fortnight ago underlined their ability to deal with opponents widely expected to cause them trouble. Marc McNulty, buoyed by making his Scotland debut and returning to his first club, could be the man to ensure Paul Heckingbottom’s on-form team eke out another victory. Hibs win
Patrick McPartlin: Livi’s home record is impressive - they’ve lost just four times in West Lothian this season - but they are likely to be missing a handful of players through injury, while Hibs have players returning from lay-offs. Earlier this season, an away win would be unthinkable when taking both clubs’ form into consideration but under Heckingbottom Hibs appear to have developed a knack of getting the job done. All runs must come to an end, but I don’t think tonight’s the night. Prediction: Hibs win
Craig Fowler: It’s difficult to back anything other than a Hibs victory given the form of the Easter Road club during Heckingbottom’s spell to this point. Then again, it’s equally difficult to back against the home side losing in West Lothian. Therefore I’m going to plop my backside down on the fence and say this one will be a draw. Livingston will take the lead after unsettling the visitors with their up-and-at-them style, before Hibs rally in the second half to secure a positive point.
Joel Sked: Heckingbottom’s team have the perfect motivation for their trip to Livingston. A win lifts them above Hearts and keeps them right in the hunt for a European spot. However, the Hibees have struggled against the West Lothian outfit so far this season and will be presented with another tough fixture. They know they can’t turn up with anything less than 100 per cent focus, they only need to look across the city to see what can happen. Heckingbottom has kept largely the same team from game-to-game but it would be smart to pair Mark Milligan and Stephane Omeonga together for their scrapping qualities. Hibs are playing with confidence and are best placed to get their first win over Livi this term. Away win.
Neil McGlade: Victory for the visitors in West Lothian tonight would put Heckingbottom’s men within touching distance of guaranteeing a place in the top six. The Hibees are in good form with five wins from seven under the new management team. The same can’t be said for their opponents who are in wretched form with just two victories in their last 13. However, it’s been well-documented Livi are a difficult nut to crack on their own patch where they have notched up notable wins over Hibs, Rangers and Hearts already this season. They have also held Celtic to a goalless draw at the Tony Macaroni Arena. I see both teams scoring in this one but I just think Hibs have that superior quality that will see them prevail. Hibs win.
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