It is sure to be another hotly contested Edinburgh derby when Hearts and Hibs meet at Tyncastle on Thursday, with the hosts slightly favoured by the bookies' odds
|By PAUL GOUGH
The football focus moves to Scotland on Thursday, with Hearts favoured to beat Hibs in the third Edinburgh derby of the season.
In the first Scottish Premier League season without Glasgow giants Rangers - relegated to Scotland's bottom tier following their much-publicised financial problems - much was expected of Hearts and Hibs, with many believing one of the Edinburgh clubs could take Rangers' place as the main rivals to champions Celtic.
But with Celtic cruising towards yet another SPL title, it has instead been tiny Inverness and Motherwell that have led the chasing pack.
Heading into Thursday's derby [Friday morning Australian time], Hibs are in fourth spot and Hearts a disappointing ninth, although a win for the hosts at Tynecastle will lift them to within three points of their local rivals.
All three options are shorter at sportsbet.com.au, with Hearts at $2.10, Hibs at $3.50 and the draw at $3.40.
|Back Hibs at $2.46 in Betfair's draw no-bet market
||Hibs and Hearts to draw 1-1 at $7.20 at Betfair|
Hearts are the reigning Scottish Cup holders but were knocked out of this year's competition by Hibs, in what was their first win over their local rivals in 13 matches.
That dominant run by Hearts included a 5-1 thumping of Hibs in the 2012 Scottish Cup final, but they are yet to win either of this season's meetings, with the first league clash ending in a 1-1 draw at Easter Road in August.
However, both clubs have their problems, with Hearts in financial turmoil and possibly at risk of following the same path as Rangers, while Hibs also could lose key players in the January transfer window.
Hibs have not won away against Hearts since 2009, but certainly get their opportunity here given their confidence will be up after knocking them of the Scottish Cup.
A 1-1 draw is the favoured option in correct-score betting, paying $7.20 with Betfair, and does loom as the game's most likely result.
* Note prices subject to change