Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Heart of Midlothian welcome Aberdeen to Tynecastle this Saturday afternoon, with the visitors looking to catch Rangers in the race to finish second behind Celtic. The Dons have not won in their last three Premiership games, though, and need to find some form quickly. Hearts, down in fifth place in the table, lost away at struggling Hamilton Academical last time out and will want to rediscover winning form this weekend.
Hearts boss Craig Levein has had to deal with plenty of injuries to his players this season. Australian defender Ben Garuccio injured his cruciate ligament in training this week and will be out for 10 months. He joins Clevid Dikamona, who has not trained this week, on the injured list, with Michael Smith also not yet ready to return after tearing a thigh muscle in January.
Hearts vs Aberdeen Prediction: Jambos 1-1 Dons
Our prediction for this game is that it will end in a 1-1 draw. Aberdeen have a habit of drawing games in recent weeks, something which is frustrating for manager Derek McInnes, as well as the club’s supporters. Their focus looks to be fully on the Scottish Cup now, after beating Rangers 2-0 at Ibrox in a quarter-final replay earlier this month. Finishing second looks to be beyond the Dons now, and that may well affect their focus on this game. Hearts, for their part, are not in great league form either, so we think this game will be a low scoring draw.
Our recommended tip: Draw, both teams to score
Our featured tip for this game comes courtesy of Ladbrokes, who are offering odds of 17/5 on the game being a draw with both teams scoring. We have predicted that this game will end in a 1-1 draw, so this bet matches our prediction perfectly. It also offers decent value in terms of the odds on offer, with 17/5 offering potentially very good returns for astute punters. It also gives you a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to the precise final scoreline. Aberdeen’s focus is now on the Cup, while Hearts have struggled with their league form in recent weeks.
These two sides have met on two previous occasions this season, with both of those games being in the Scottish Premiership. The first meeting was at Hearts’ home ground of Tynecastle on October 20. The game ended in a 2-1 win for the Edinburgh side, with Arnaud Djoum opening the scoring for the Jambos in the 36th minute of the game. Steven Naismith netted second from the penalty spot before half-time, before Gary McKay-Steven scored a consolation for the Dons with a penalty in the second half. In the meeting at Pittodrie on December 22, Aberdeen won 2-0, with Sam Cosgrove netting twice.
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Players to watch: Sean Clare & Sam Cosgrove
In the absence of Steven Naismith, Sean Clare is an important player for Hearts this weekend. The English striker has scored just two goals in 21 Scottish Premiership games in 2018/19, and owes the club a few more, especially as he has provided just one assist. He scored an important goal in the Scottish Cup quarter-final win over Partick Thistle earlier this month, and Jambos staff and supporters would be delighted with another goal this Saturday.
Aberdeen’s English centre forward Sam Cosgrove is his club’s top scorer this season, having netted 18 goals in all competitions. He has scored 14 of those goals in his 27 Scottish Premiership appearances, and four in the Scottish League Cup. Significantly, he also scored twice against Hearts when the teams played each other at Pittodrie earlier this season. Dons fans will hope he can repeat that feat on Saturday afternoon in Edinburgh.