'Surely lightning can't strike three times?': Journalists' predictions for St Mirren v Hearts
Our online team try to correctly guess the result as Hearts travel to St Mirren looking to make it three wins on the bounce.
Craig Fowler: This match, more than the previous two, will tell us a lot about Levein's immediate future as Hearts manager. The Gorgie Road side managed to get themselves up for two huge games in the past week, but they have to start taking care of business against the teams they are expected to defeat. While an away match may not be ideal, St Mirren may just be the perfect opponent in which to face. Goodwin's side have looked better than the complete shambles they were expected to be after a turbulent summer, but they still have a real lack of firepower and have yet to score more than once in a single match since losing 3-2 to Dunfermline in their opening Betfred Cup match (they were shutout against both East Kilbride and Albion Rovers). With the Hearts attack looking brighter in the last two games, if the defence can cut out the stupid mistakes that have plagued them this season then the visitors should have enough to win. Prediction: Hearts victory
Patrick McPartlin: A come-from-behind derby win at Easter Road over Hibs and a come-from-behind penalties win over Aberdeen at Tynecastle... surely lightning can't strike three times for Levein's side? Three games in six days is a big ask, and my main concern is that after that performance at Easter Road, and the 120 minutes plus on Wednesday night may have taken its toll on the Jambos. Seven players have played every minute of both games including Christophe Berra, Craig Halkett, Glenn Whelan and Uche Ikpeazu. St Mirren haven't exactly set the heather alight recently but Goodwin knows how to set a team up to frustrate opponents. Hearts should have enough in the tank to beat the Buddies but I wonder if a combination of a stuffy Saints side and midweek exertions could take its toll. Prediction: Draw
Anthony Brown: Despite their morale-boosting victories in their last two games, it’s impossible to be overly confident about Hearts’ prospects of beating St Mirren because they have so often failed to build on any positive results they have had over the past 11 months. They have also tended to struggle against teams they are expected to beat within this period. The presence of Whelan, however, should ensure there is some tempo and urgency to Hearts’ play which should in turn allow their superior quality to shine through. Prediction: Hearts win
Joel Sked: Forget the Hibs game, Forget the penalty shoot-out win over Aberdeen. This is it. This is the game which will show whether or Hearts are on the right road to recovery. An away game against a team Levein's men are expected to beat; suffy opposition who will make it difficult. Last season was a prime example. Hearts went to Paisley to face a struggling team as they sought to get their season back on track. They delivered a hopeless performance and lost 2-0. With players slowly returning from injuries it has given Levein more options, both in terms of personnel and systems he can play. Perhaps more importantly, confidence has returned. Win and the only way is up. Lose and back to square one. Prediction: Hearts win. Just.