Ross County vs Hearts by Luke
Ross County got the victory last weekend against Linlithgow Rose in 1/8 finals of Scottish FA Cup at home with a 4:2 result. Overall, the game probably should have been a bit easier for the home side, but the team still got the victory and are satisfied with it. Previous to that game, they took a huge victory over Celtic at home in semi-finals of Insurance League Cup, getting advantage from excluded player in Celtic's side already in thirteenth minute.
Previous to that was their last Premiership game when the team walked away with three points away against Motherwell, getting into the game very strongly, opening the lead in 20th minute with a goal from Irvine, while Graham doubled up their lead in 69th, with the hosts only being able to reduce just few minutes before the final whistle. Game against Hearts comes in a good moment for Ross County, since they come into it with three consecutive victories, but it also come as a very important one, since the side has a chance to narrow down the points difference between them and third placed Hearts, also to increase the gap between themselves and rest of the sides which are aiming for play-off rounds. Striker David Goodwillie is set to make a debut here. Other striker, Liam Boyce is pushing for a start following a broken hand.
Hearts had really tough game last weekend at home against Hibernian with quite unpredictable and disappointing end for them with a 2:2 result. They were better in the first halftime and had taken the double lead thanks to goals from Djoum and Nicholson, but paid the price of getting too passive later on - conceding goals in 80th via Cummings and during additional time via Hanlon for the final result.
As for the league competition, they come from a goalless draw against Hamilton couple of weeks earlier. That result could be described as a positive one, since the team was playing with a man less from the 40th minute when Rossi got excluded till very late in the match when the hosts also had one player sent off the pitch. Their hosts looked slightly better, but with both teams somehow more oriented to defensive tasks - which was normal for the players of Hearts who were limited to such performance. Visitors have central defenders Blazej Augustyn, Igor Rossi and midfielder Prince Buaben all suspended, while captain Alim Ozturk is doubtful for this one. Defender John Souttar should start in the defense, while Sam Nicholson passed as fit shaking off his knock.
Ross County is playing quite a offensive football at the moment and I expect them to continue in the same way - with a bit less reliable approach in the defense. Absence of Hearts' defensive players will probably make the visitors also bit more offensive than they usually would be, so I see this bet as a really valuable one this time.