'Potential banana skin, but Hibs should have enough' - Journalists' predictions for Hibs v Arbroath
The Evening News sport team give their thoughts on Hibs' Betfred Cup clash with Arbroath...
Hibs have laboured in their past two Betfred Cup group-stage matches, finding well-organised lower-league sides hard to break down. I don't expect it to be any different tonight against Dick Campbell's buoyant Arbroath side, who have scalped top-tier sides in friendlies already this season and are riding the crest of a promotion wave from last term. Home advantage and a higher calibre of player should be enough to see Hibs through, but it won't be without a bit of tension. Prediction: Hibs win
Given Hibs’ struggles in their previous two Betfred Cup matches, it is hard to imagine them having things all their own way against an Arbroath side enjoying a hugely encouraging summer ahead of their step up to the Championship. The Red Lichties should carry more of a goal threat than Alloa did on Saturday and look capable of making this a nervy evening for the hosts. Prediction: Hibs 3 Arbroath 2
The home side are not playing particularly well at the beginning of this Betfred Cup campaign, but they should still have more than enough to earn three points against the country's strongest part-time team. There have been a number of new faces coming into the Hibs starting XI this season, many of whom haven't played in Scottish football before. We should see them improving with each passing game. Prediction: Hibs win.
This one is a real potential banana skin for an underperforming Hibs side. Paul Heckingbottom’s men have been off the pace so far in this season’s Betfred Cup campaign with unconvincing performances against both Stirling Albion and Alloa. Championship outfit Arbroath, on the other hand, have been in a rich vein of form and have already beaten the Easter Road outfit in a pre-season friendly a couple of weeks ago. However, Hibs do have the incentive of leapfrogging their opponents at the top of Group C with a win and that should be enough to see them over the line. But only just. Prediction: Narrow Hibs win.
Hibs and Arbroath know all about each other, having faced off in a friendly at Gayfield earlier this summer which Dick Campbell's side won rather comfortably. The Red Lichties are not in the Championship to make up the numbers, and their 6-1 drubbing of Stirling Albion (with whom Hibs could only draw) signals both their intent and attacking prowess. The likes of Bobby Linn and Steven Doris will be a threat tonight for the visitors. However, I can't see Paul Heckingbottom settling for another 45 - 90 minutes of "great build-up, no end-product". Team selection will be interesting, with another must-win match on Fricay away to Elgin, but I still fancy Hibs to put out a strong team, in the 4-3-3 formation that served them better in the second period on Saturday, and get a result one way or another. Prediction: Hibs win
Paul Heckingbottom's men can't really afford a slip up at home to the Smokies. The Championship part-timers have started the season strongly with two wins, including a 6-1 thumping of Stirling Albion and it should be an entertaining game at Easter Road. Dick Campbell won't set out his team to simply defend, they have too much in attack for that. Hibs have been stodgy at best in their first two encounters as Heckingbottom experiments. Following the tactical change against Alloa he will likely go 4-3-3 which could see Stevie Mallan and Josh Vela provide the platform for Scott Allan to try and pierce the Arbroath defence. Prediction: Narrow Hibs win.