'Likely to be a slog, but I fancy Hibs' - Journalists' predictions for Hamilton Accies v Hibs
Our online team try to correctly predict the result on Saturday as Hibs travel to Lanarkshire to face Hamilton Accies on Ladbrokes Premiership duty
An absolutely huge match for Paul Heckingbottom and his Hibs team. Any momentum of a recent revival will be halted if they do not take maximum points from the FOY Stadium. This match is the first of a reasonably kind run of fixtures - one that is probably going to make or break the head coach's tenure.
Hamilton will stand up to Hibs in midfield and make life awkward for the visitors, but Hibs should have the quality within their ranks to break them down. Christian Doidge owes him team-mates a goal after those misses against Aberdeen, but I wonder if this might be the match where Florian Kamberi rediscovers his scoring touch.
This match is likely to be a slog, but I fancy Hibs to get a vital victory here. Prediction Hibs win
All three outcomes are perfectly possible in this hard-to-call fixture.
Hibs are still not playing with enough conviction to be trusted to beat any side at present, but, equally, their three-game unbeaten run, accomplished in hugely testing fixtures before the international break, suggests they have stopped the rot and may be about to turn a corner.
It won’t be pretty - it rarely is on plastic - but I think Hibs might just have enough resilience to dig out their first away win in the league for six months. Prediction: Hibs win
I was fairly certain that Hibs were going to win this one, but the possible absence of Scott Allan through injury has given me pause for thought.
Though it's been undermined by Doidge's profligacy in front of goal, I truly believe Heckingbottom has stumbled across a winning formula for his side. Allan and Doidge, with the former's propensity for releasing through balls and the latter's perfectly-timed runs in behind, make a potential devastating duo at the head of the attack if the £350,000 summer signing can discover his scoring boots.
It's a huge game for the manager so he may risk his talented No.10, but the former Barnsley manager is painted is someone who views rationale over emotion and he'll know long-term insists would dictate that the player rests.
If there's no Allan there's nobody else in the squad who's a like-for-like replacement, nobody who can bring what he brings, and the onus will be on Heckingbottom to draw up another plan. Given how that's gone for the majority of this season, that may see the visitors struggle again. Prediction: Allan to sit out and Hibs to draw
The two points picked up against Celtic and Aberdeen were largely unexpected – albeit very welcome for Heckingbottom and his players.
And it is that reason there is now a real expectation on Hibs to pick up maximum points in South Lanarkshire tomorrow. The Easter Road men have looked far more of a threat in recent weeks, none more so than against Aberdeen almost a fortnight ago.
Heckingbottom's big decision here is who he plucks for to lead the line against Accies. Despite Doidge's horror show in front of goal against the Dons, I still think he offers more than Kamberi at this moment in time and I'm backing the Englishman to respond by netting the winner. Prediction: Hibs win
Hamilton has not been a kind stomping ground for Hibs in seasons past. Four top-flight wins since 2008 speaks for itself, although the most recent did come last season courtesy of Oli Shaw.
Hamilton haven't had a terrible start to the season and the S̶u̶p̶e̶r̶S̶e̶a̶l̶ ̶H̶o̶p̶e̶C̶B̶D̶ FOY Stadium can be a tricky place to go, not least on a wet and grey autumn Saturday.
Hibs do have the overall quality to win this game and after promising performances against Kilmarnock in the Betfred Cup, and then Celtic and Aberdeen in the league, this could well be the day when it all clicks. There's been a more settled line-up available to Paul Heckingbottom, and I reckon midfield lynchpin Melker Hallberg could be crucial to a decent display tomorrow.
I'm backing Hibs to leave with the three points - which would see them leapfrog Accies and rivals Hearts on Saturday night. Prediction: Hibs win
The third of August. The last time Hibs won a game in 90 minutes. A trip to Hamilton presents an ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways.
It is also the start of a favourable run of fixtures in the league. It is not a must-win or imperative to get three points but if Paul Heckingbottom's side are to put a run together and start gathering momentum they really ought to pick up three points. Hamilton Accies are a curious team.
They don't have any standout attacking players but are capable of producing results. At the same time they can look like a League 2 side, as seen when they went to Ibrox and tried to defend in numbers but were blown away 5-0.
The starting XI will be interesting. Scott Allan being fit will be a key aspect to how Hibs play and will Heckingbottom stick with Christian Doidge? He will get chances against the Accies defence. Prediction: Hibs win.