Dundee Utd v Hearts .... preview
Our site editor wrote an article 2 weeks ago suggesting that Hearts ought to be capable of winning all 3 upcoming matches (Falkirk away, Inverness at home and Dundee Utd away). Sadly the first of these games ended in defeat, despite a good 2nd half display. After getting back on the winning trail with a narrow victory over ICT last Saturday, tomorrow's match at Tannadice will allow the fans to judge if Csaba really has instilled more resilience into Hearts. United have made a poor start to this season`s campaign, but scraped a win at Pittodrie last week thanks to a penalty kick.
Many Hearts fans probably feel that United have had the better of their heroes at Tannadice in recent years, but a look at the scores - won 2, lost 2, drew 2 - suggest that this impression isn`t accurate (it probably stems from the 2 hammerings we took from them at Tynecastle in 2007).
2004-05 …. Drew 1-1 ….. Lost 2-1
2005-06 .…. Won 3-0 ….. Drew 1-1
2006-07 .…. Won 1-0
2007-08 ….. Lost 4-1
Tomorrow`s game looks like being very close, since neither team has a regular goalscorer. Although Hearts sit 5 points ahead of United, this scenario has an uncomfortable ring to it for the fans - after all, we seem to come a cropper most seasons against a team who are having a bad run. Craig Levein always seems able to organise mediocre players into an efficient team, so Hearts can expect a difficult afternoon at Tannadice. This fixture has seen a few red cards issued too in recent years.
Hearts have Bruno Aguiar and Mike Tullberg back in training, although it is unlikely that Aguiar will feature in this match. Tullberg seems to have a chance of getting a place on the bench. Personally, I would like to see Csaba become more adventurous by playing with a 2 forwards, but I suspect that we may have to wait several weeks to see such a change.
A 0-0 or 1-1 draw, or a narrow 1-0 win either way, would be probably account for 95% of bets on the outcome of this game. Having said that, it will probably turn out to be a thrilling 4-4 "game of the season" draw without a single booking ...... actually, I`d settle for that !!