First Team

Heart of Midlothian 0-0 Hibernian

Wednesday 31st October 2018, KO 19:45 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Tynecastle Park

Match Preview

Team news

Hearts lost Steven Nasimith (knee) after eight minutes of the Betfred Cup semi-final against Celtic and Craig Levein confirmed that the 32 year-old will miss the next 6-8 weeks as he recovers.

The match could also come too soon for Peter Haring (hernia) who played through the pain barrier against Celtic as he struggles with an abdominal issue.

Clevid Dikamona (thigh) also picked up a dead leg at BT Murrayfield and is a doubt for Wednesday night.

Long-term absentees Christophe Berra (hamstring), John Souttar (hip), Jamie Brandon (knee) and Uche Ikpeazu (foot) remain out.

Steven MacLean is unavailable for tonight's clash having accepted a ban for violent conduct in relation to Sunday's incident with Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi.

Meanwhile, Hibs will be without the services of captain David Gray (foot) and vice-captain Paul Hanlon (hamstring), as well as Thomas Agyepong (hamstring), who all missed the 4-2 defeat to Celtic with injury.

Martin Boyle, Daryl Horgan, Steven Whittaker and Jamie Maclaren all played at Celtic Park despite nursing knocks.

 

Form

Hearts were on good form after two wins against Aberdeen and Dundee but their confidence will have taken a knock after the 3-0 loss to Celtic on Sunday in the Betfred Cup semi-final.

The Jambos kept themselves in the game until the second half when goals from Scott Sinclair, James Forrest and Ryan Christie won it for Celtic.

Hibs didn’t play last weekend and their last game was a 4-2 loss at Celtic Park. It was a thrilling encounter – Celtic went 3-1 up before Hibs got a goal back almost immediately but the home side pulled away after Odsonne Edouard’s second of the game.

 

Head to head

This is the 340th Edinburgh Derby, the 291st in the league and the 146th at Tynecastle Park – but the two sides have never played on Hallowe’en.

Hearts have only won two of the last ten Edinburgh derbies with both wins taking place in Gorgie in the last calendar year. In January an 87th minute Don Cowie goal was enough to down the Hibees. Then in May, during the post-split fixture, goals from Kyle Lafferty and Steven Naismith ensured a 2-1 win for the Jambos.

Craig Levein has never lost to Hibs at Tynecastle with a record of P10 W6 D4 – including the famous 5-1 scoreline when Mark de Vries netted four with Andy Kirk scoring the first.

 

What Craig Levein Said

“They’re in a good place. We made a couple of mistakes. I thought the penalty was extremely harsh. The game plan worked perfectly well. We got to 50-odd minutes without Celtic having any clear goal-scoring opportunities. Then we made a couple of errors.

“The fact that we’ve got such a high profile match coming up after the game on Sunday helps them focus and get back to what we were doing before the defeat on Sunday. They’re in good spirits and I’m quite relaxed about it.

“Neil [Lennon] is a fantastic manager. He’s had a great record during his period at Hibs and it doesn’t surprise me that they’ve brought quality players in. We know what we’re facing. I know that we’re facing an extremely difficult match and it will be as competitive as every other derby match I’m sure.”

Watch all of Craig’s press conference by clicking here.