Date: 30th December 2016
Live on BT Sport 1
Ian Cathro’s joy at picking up his first win as manager of Hearts was tempered by a terrible update on Callum Patterson’s injury.
The young defender is looking at nine months out with a cruciate injury. It’s a blow to the player with the rumoured big money move now unlikely to materialise. It is also a blow for Hearts who are losing one of their best players for the rest of the season.
Most notably they will be missing out on more than a key defensive player. They are also losing goals. Patterson is their joint leading scorer with ten goals. It’s an incredible tally from right back but is unsurprising given his finishing ability from all angles.
They are also losing a major threat from set pieces. He has often caused carnage from corners and attacking free kicks. Hence he is a player they simply won’t be able to replace in the January window.
Just when it looked like it might be coming together for The Jambos, too. Despite losing 3-2 to Dundee last weekend they looked a much better outfit than the week before. Their 4-0 mauling of Kilmarnock underlined that.
The team shape was beginning to resemble something from the Ian Cathro playbook but losing Patterson and his adaptability will undermine that progress. Really, the importance of Patterson to Hearts needs stated.
Meanwhile Aberdeen have resurged under Derek McInnes. He didn’t change his team for the first time that I can recall and the result was two wins on the spin. Some changes are likely here after a busy period but he will likely be thinking twice now.
He will have made plans for Patterson which he can now discard. Most importantly it gives Johnny Hayes a lot more free rein on the left wing. That could become the defining characteristic in this match if young Liam Smith can’t counter his marauding runs.
HEARTS V ABERDEEN BETTING TIPS AND PREDICTIONS BEST BETTING ODDS
Both teams to score is short at 1.7 (17/10) with 888Sport. Given head to heads stats Both Teams To Score NO looks a better option at 2.3 (13/10) with McBookie.
3 of Hearts' last 5 games have seen +2.5 goals.
4 of Aberdeen's last 5 have seen +2.5 goals.
The stats are the same for both teams to score.
Head To Head Stats
Hearts won the 3 meetings preceding the 0-0 draw in August.
Only 1 of the last 5 meetings has seen +2.5 goals or both teams to score.
Both teams to score NO
@ 2.3 (13/10)
Scottish Football Tips Star Rating Explained
If you must have a bet this is probably the best one available.
This is a coin flip. Likely to lose as much as it wins.
There is something approaching value in this bet. Your call.
Value to be had. Should be taken on.
Must bet. Screams value.