With the SPL winding down you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a bit of a nothing game. However both these sides will be desperate to make their last couple of games count in their pursuit of the sides above them.
It’s the penultimate game of the Scottish top flight, where fourth meet sixth in a clash that could make or break the perceived success of both side’s seasons. Hearts will be desperate to finish above their Edinburgh rivals: Hibernian. They’re currently three points behind their neighbours so would need them to slip up and they have a considerable goal difference to make up. However the motivation is still there for Craig Levein’s men to go and get a result against The Dons; especially with St Johnstone and Motherwell just two and three points behind The Jambos, respectively.
Unfortunately for the visitors, they’re in rotten form. Just two wins in their past 12 outings has seen them surpassed by their arch nemesis, who have won six games in that time and lost just two. Only relegated Dundee have taken fewer points over the last 12 matches. Understandably they’re the outsiders to win at a price of 5.0, with the draw priced at 3.5.
Aberdeen are hardly at the top of their game either, with just four wins in their last 12. However three of those have come in the last six. The players and fans will be disappointed however with two rather spineless defeats to the top two: Celtic and Rangers. Aberdeen will be wary of Hearts in this one, especially given that the hosts have taken more points on the road than they have at Pittodrie this season. The Dons currently sit level on points with Kilmarnock who are in third on account of their goal difference. With first and second sewn up, Aberdeen will be keen to consolidate their place as one of the league’s top sides even though some will be disappointed at just finishing third. Fourth however would tarnish this season as a real disappointment. You can back the hosts to win at odds of 1.67.
The hosts are boosted by the returns of Andrew Consadine from suspension and Stephen Gleeson from injury, both look set to start the game as Derek McInnes has spoke of his side’s desire to end the home campaign with a victory. Captain Graham Shinnie who has just signed for Derby will be assessed late with the view to starting the game, the captain has said he’ll still play with every bit of passion that has seen him become so popular at Pittodrie. Connor McLennan and Gary Mackay-Steven will also be assessed late, both bring real flair and skill to the hosts and their absence has been noticeable.
Hearts are without the inspirational Steven Naismith as they have been for some time now. They’re also without Uche Ikpeazu, the man mountain scored the equaliser in the Edinburgh derby and has become somewhat of a fan favourite. This is a real blow to the visitors, it also affects the goal scorer market. Ikpeazu would’ve been my only pick for a Hearts goal with any confidence. SO I’d be looking towards the likes of James Wilson for Aberdeen at 4.33; he had lots of chances against Celtic and I can’t see him being so wasteful again.
Demetri Mitchell would be the other most notable absence for the visitors.
With both sides far from at the top of their game, I don’t see this one playing out as an absolute classic. Hearts have found the net just five times in their last six and Aberdeen only better that slightly with seven in their last six. I’d be looking at an under goals selection rather than over. Under 2.5 goals at 1.6 being the standout in that market for me.
I don’t see a lot of value in a winning selection. If I was taking anything I think the draw at 3.5 represents the best bet in terms of odds. I’d be looking at booking points or specific players to be carded as the valuable market here. Aberdeen haven’t been at all afraid to get stuck in this season, Lewis Ferguson to be booked at 2.4 really stands out to me. The young midfielder plays with heart and desire but has never been far from controversy this season and does allow emotions to get the better of him.
Draw @ 3.5
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.6
Over 50 booking points @ 2.5