Hearts v St Johnstone: A home win is far from a banker at Tynecastle


Much is expected of Premiership new boys Hearts this season after their breeze to the Championship title. It could be a case of whether they handle the pressure in their first year back among the elite.

The Edinburgh club start life back at the summit with an awkward home game against constantly over-achieving St Johnstone.

Hearts are 11/10 to grab an opening-day victory but that task will not be an easy one. Saints finished fourth last year and were extremely frugal on the road, conceding just 17 goals on their travels, bettered only by champions Celtic.

That rearguard has only been strengthened further by the addition of Brad McKay, who jumped ship from Tynecastle to join Saints this summer. The 22-year-old struggled to break the impressive partnership of Alim Ozturk and the now departed Danny Wilson, but he will add steel and to an already solid defence.

The away side are 13/5 to keep a clean sheet, but that may be asking a little much against a Hearts outfit that hit 57 goals on their own patch last term. Instead, looking at the home team to register under 1.5 goals at 8/13 may be the wiser option.

Old foes have a habit of coming back to haunt their former clubs and McKay is a healthy 9/1 to grab a goal here.

A win in Edinburgh would be precious for Saints, a feat they are 5/2 to achieve. However, they have taken the three points just once in their last six jaunts to face the Jam Tarts and backing the draw at 23/10 could prove shrewd.

An underrated Saints outfit and a much-hyped Hearts will make for a fascinating clash but ultimately a tight one as both teams look to avoid the dreaded first-day defeat.



Aaron Cox

Aaron has written for a number of top-level publications, including FourFourTwo and the Manchester Evening News. As well as being a fanatical Rochdale AFC fan and blogger, he shares a passion for rugby league and golf.