‘It’s hard to know what to make of Hibs’: Journalists’ predictions for Hibs v Hamilton

Incredibly, our online team failed to get a perfect six from six in our last predictions article with two rogue writers failing to forecast a Hibs victory against League One opponents Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup. We’ve whipped them sufficiently in the time since and they’ve promised to be better this time around.

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Anthony Brown: Hibs have won both meetings between the teams this season and have enough quality and firepower in their ranks to ensure Paul Heckingbottom gets off to a winning start, with Marc McNulty leading from the front. Hibs win

Neil McGlade: The visit of struggling Accies is just the ideal fixture for the new Hibs manager to get his teeth stuck into. Hibs now have their man in place so it’s time to put the Neil Lennon saga to bed. It’s vital the Englishman gets off to a good start with three points on the board. I think it’s unlikely he will tinker too much with the team but, irrespective of who’s playing, the Easter Road men possess enough quality to get the job done. Hamilton have showed steady improvement under new boss Brian Rice but it won’t be a happy homecoming for the former Hibee. Hamilton’s Achilles heel this season has been their shoddy defending and I think Hibs will capitalise. Home win.

Hibs thumped Accies 6-0 the last time they visited Easter Road. Picture: SNS

Joel Sked: Who knows just how effective or real the new manager bounce is but the appointment of Heckingbottom should provide a spring in the step of the players and it will give fans a buzz which has perhaps been missing in recent weeks. The supporters finally have someone to unite behind. Since Neil Lennon’s suspension and departure Hibs have defeated St Mirren and eased past Raith Rovers in the cup so Hamilton is not a daunting task to get the new manager’s tenure up and running. The Accies have been revived under Brian Rice with double training sessions and a more positive outlook in terms of style. Yet Hibs will still emerge victorious but not as comfortably as they did earlier in the season at Easter Road.

Mark Atkinson: I think there will be an air of excitement around Easter Road on Saturday with Heckingbottom’s arrival as head coach. The Hibs team is unlikely to deviate too much from the one that defeated Raith last week and they will want to put on a show for their new boss. Hamilton have improved under Rice and have dangerous forward-thinking players such as Tony Andreu and George Oakley, but Hibs have enough to get over the line. Accies have only kept three clean sheets all season - and only once on the road - and Hibs should be able to take advantage of a porous defence. A home win, with Florian Kamberi and Marc McNulty both getting on the scoresheet.

Craig Fowler: Rice has given Hamilton and lift and they’ll be a very different proposition to the team that were thumped 6-0 by Hibs in October. For starters, they actually look to attack opponents instead of putting ten men behind the ball. It’s difficult to know what to make of Hibs in Heckingbottom’s first game in charge, so I’ll summarise my prediction like this: Hibs are the more talented team and they’re at home. Hibs win.

Patrick McPartlin: The appointment of Heckingbottom, along with No.2 Robbie Stockdale, brings an end to an uncertain period for the Capital club. Last time Hamilton visited Easter Road they were on the end of a 6-0 drubbing but Accies also have a new manager in place, and will be looking to build on their impressive 2-1 win over St Johnstone last time out. Whether Hamilton will still be feeling the effects of the new manager bounce remains to be seen, but Heckingbottom’s desire to get off to a winning start could result in Hibs coming out all guns blazing. It won’t be 6-0, but I reckon the new coaching team will start life at Easter Road with a win. Prediction: Hibs win