Ahead of the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road on Saturday pundits have been picking their best XI from Hearts and Hibs.
Former Hibs boss Alan Stubbs, Michael Stewart, who played for both clubs, ex-Rangers midfielder Alex Rae and Mark Wilson, formerly of Celtic, chose the combined XI from the two squads, opting for seven Hearts players. The individuals were selected based on this season’s performances.
Filmed by league sponsors Ladbrokes ahead of the weekend’s derby matches between Celtic and Rangers before the Capital clash in the evening, the quartet’s picks will have raised eyebrows, especially among Hibs supporters.
The group were unanimous in choosing Zdenek Zlamal, who has been dropped for Hearts’ last two matches, ahead of Hibs duo Ofir Marciano and Adam Bogdan, while Stubbs surprisingly chose the Gorgie trio of right-back Michael Smith, Christophe Berra and John Souttar to form his defence alongside Lewis Stevenson.
Both Stewart and Rae argued the case for Ryan Porteous with no mention of Efe Ambrose, arguably Hibs’ most consistent performers this campaign.
There was little argument in picking Martin Boyle to play on the right of the midfield and the central duo of Stevie Mallan and Peter Haring.
Wilson made the case for Demetri Mitchell to play on the left, comparing the on-loan Manchester United player to Rangers’ James Tavernier. However it was Steven Naismith, who has netted 12 times this season, was chosen in the role.
Despite criticism by the Hibs coaching staff of his recent performances, all four chose Florian Kamberi to lead the attack. He was joined by Uche Ikpeazu, although Stewart argued for the inclusion of Arnaud Djoum as a No.10.
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