'Turmoil won't vanish after one victory': Journalists' predictions for Hearts v Aberdeen
Our online team try to predict the correct result as Aberdeen visit Tynecastle tonight for a Betfred Cup quarter-final encounter.
Craig Fowler: Nobody at Tynecastle, whether fans, management or players, will be getting carried away with one win, even if it did come in an Edinburgh derby. However, Sunday's come-from-behind effort provided a much-needed confidence boost ahead of Aberdeen's visit. If Craig Levein goes with the 4-2-3-1 which helped instigate the turnaround against Hibs, a system which suits the strengths of this Hearts team at the moment, then I'd fancy them to advance into the semi-finals against an opponent who, for whatever reason, continually bottle it at Tynecastle. Prediction: Hearts win
Patrick McPartlin: I don’t think Sunday’s result against Hibs will have completely convinced every Hearts fan that the future is bright, despite the nature of the victory and the performances from some players, but it’s a good springboard for tonight’s clash. Aberdeen have huffed and puffed a bit in recent weeks and without Funso Ojo and Craig Bryson in midfield, to say nothing of a depleted defence, I reckon Hearts will enjoy another positive result against the Dons. I don’t think it’ll be a particularly pretty game but Hearts have a great chance to reach another Betfred Cup semi-final. After his starring role on Sunday, I wouldn’t bet against Meshino getting on the scoresheet while the positive injury news on Peter Haring and Steven Naismith will have given everyone at Tynecastle a lift and could be the catalyst for another morale-boosting result. Prediction: Hearts to qualify
Neil McGlade: Despite the morale-boosting win at the weekend for everyone connected with the Tynecastle outfit, the past few weeks’ turmoil won’t vanish on the back of one victory over Hibs. I don’t think the fans are that naive, either. Victory over Aberdeen and a place in the Betfred Cup semi finals would certainly keep things motoring in the right direction. The Jambos didn’t overly impress me at Easter Road on Sunday, albeit both Uche Ikpeazu and Aaron Hickey took their goals well. Victory over their city rivals may turn out to be the turning point in Hearts’ season but I think Aberdeen, who consistently underperform in Gorgie, will get the job done. Prediction: Aberdeen win
Joel Sked: The derby win was huge for Hearts and Levein, especially in the manner it was achieved in terms of coming from behind and winning late on. However, for large parts of the game there were still the same attacking issues of breaking teams down and creating chances. The positive was the defence looked a lot more solid with Michael Smith back in. Aberdeen, meanwhile, sit third but their fans seem to be losing the will to live when watching them. They were booed throughout the 2-0 WIN over Livingston. Derek McInnes is missing key players in midfield which should play into the hands of Whelan and Andy Irving or Loic Damour with Meshino likely be handed a No.10 spot behind Ikpeazu. If Levein goes with Jake Mulraney on one side and Callumn Morrison on the other and decides to attack Aberdeen from the off under the lights at Tynecastle, the Jam Tarts should be looking at another cup semi final. Prediction: Hearts win