Saturday, December 16, 2006

Shock: Big Games Not at Ibrox!

It’s a shame that our continuing obsession with the Old Firm will overshadow two other games being played this weekend.

With the Ibrox clash holding all the appeal of being hit in the face with a wet fish, Edinburgh and Falkirk might be the places to go for thrills.

At Tynecastle this afternoon Hearts meet Aberdeen and third versus fourth looks more appealing than the battle of the top two.

Aberdeen are on a roll. They’re by no means strolling through games but they are getting results and seem to be carrying a touch of luck. Jimmy Calderwood has taken his time at Pittodrie, tinkering here and there, but now seems to have found a team capable of achieving something.

Hearts need no introduction in this blog. All we need now is for Vladimir Romanov to marry Pedro Lopez for the everyday story of an extraordinary football club to replace The Archers.

That said Hearts enjoyed a great result last week, finally finding their goal scoring touch to bring an end to a nine game run without a victory. If the Paul Hartley story has not unsettled them too much they’ll be hoping to continue that form against Aberdeen today.

Make no mistake – the Hearts players still believe they are a top three side. Having Aberdeen above them will be an insult to their pride.

Expect a cracker. A draw, but a cracker.

Today’s other game of note is Falkirk against Hibs. Both teams suffered defeats last week but in very different ways.

Falkirk stuffed Aberdeen in the second half of the game at Pittodrie and should have had at least a draw. The best that can be said of Hibs’ trip to Ibrox is that at least they didn’t lose the second half.

So the two Johns will be looking for different reactions this afternoon. Hughes will ask for more of the same. Collins will ask Hibs to show that last week was an aberration

What we can be sure of is that both managers will ask their players to pass the ball and entertain. If Aberdeen and Hearts promises explosions, Falkirk and Hibs looks like being a treat for the purists.

And, if you want a prediction, I’ll go for Falkirk to pull off a shock and get a result.