Hibs boss Nick Montgomery says his players will be braced for nothing less than a “fiery” derby when rivals Hearts visit Easter Road on Wednesday night.
After a run of matches away from home, sixth-placed Hibs return to Easter Road for a derby with a difference under the lights, live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event.
Elie Youan’s second-half double saw Hibs rescue a point against Hearts in October’s derby at Tynecastle, and Montgomery expects an equally competitive affair this time around.
“We’re not expecting anything else than a fiery derby,” Montgomery told Sky Sports News as he helped serve meals during the annual Hibernian Community Foundation Christmas Lunch at Easter Road.
“People will tell you in derbies that form goes out of the window. I think Hearts have been in good form and we’ve been in good form, with a few ups and downs which is to be expected, but it is going to be two competitive teams [on the night].
“We are the home team, we’ve been to Tynecastle and come back from two goals down, which gives us belief, and that was early in my tenure.
“But we’re looking forward to the game and the boys are looking forward to it. It’s going to be a real competitive game, no doubt.
“It’s an opportunity for us to show Easter Road [what we’re all about]. It’s live on Sky, which is nice and an added incentive for the game. It’s going to be a tough game.”
Hibs head coach Montgomery will wear a microphone during the match, enabling fans at home to hear specific coaching and tactics from the sideline and will also speak live to the commentary team as the game goes on.
Assistant Sergio Raimundo will wear a bodycam to give a first-person perspective of the team on the pitch from the dugout – with cameras also in the home dressing room before and after the game, plus at half-time.
Fans will also get unique behind-the-scenes access with Sky Sports given access to the Hearts team hotel for their pre-match meal, and a Jambos player will wear a bodycam during their pre-match warm-up to deliver a new depth of coverage.
There will also be interviews behind the scenes including Hibs boss Montgomery in his office plus, a player during his pre-match preparation in the dressing room and on-pitch interviews after the game.
The broadcast aims to capture the passion, drama and key moments of the derby, something that Montgomery welcomes.
“It’s been well-publicised,” Montgomery added.
“It was an incentive that was agreed on by everyone to really showcase Scottish football, and using the Edinburgh derby is a great opportunity for that.
“I’m the manager of Hibernian Football Club, so all I can do is show Hibs in the best light possible and be myself at the end of the day. It’s going to be a lot of passion.
“I’ll embrace it, the club will embrace it, and the players will embrace it. It’s going to be an exciting game.”
‘The games you loved playing in’
Speaking at Street Soccer Scotland’s annual Christmas Day game in Edinburgh providing food and company for those in need, Hibernian legend Stuart Lovell said these were the games that everyone wanted to play in.
“It was an amazing fixture to play in at any time of the year,” he told Sky Sports News.
“They were games I loved playing in. You only get three points from it but it feels like double if you win a derby.
“It’s massively important to the players and it brings the fans and the players together, so both of these squads will be absolutely champing at the bit to get three points.
“We used to say home advantage counted for a lot, I’m not so sure it does anymore. I think Hibs need to win the game a lot more than Hearts, but Hearts are going into it in better form.
“I’m surprised that Hearts aren’t clear favourites. You’d think they have got the momentum going into it.
“Can Hibs play through the lines? If they can, they have got the pace in the wide areas to hurt Hearts, so it’s a nip-and-tuck game.
“Nick Montgomery is going to make it very clear to his players trust yourselves, trust your ability and let’s go and play the way we want to play.”
Watch the Edinburgh derby between Hibernian and Hearts live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm on Wednesday; kick-off 8pm