RFS vs. Hearts Betting Tips: Confidence crushed Jambos face tough task in Latvia
Hearts are in desperate need of a jolt of inspiration following a disastrous run of form which has seen them lose six of their last seven games in all competitions, including a 4-0 hammering at home to Basaksehir in a thoroughly demoralising Europa Conference League opener. They return to Group A action on Thursday night away to Latvian champions Rigas Futbola Skola (RFS), who themselves held Fiorentina to a hugely creditable 1-1 draw in Florence.
Below we preview the game - which is live on BT Sport 1 at 8pm - and provide two tips…
RFS vs Hearts Tips
With daunting back-to-back clashes against Fiorentina on the horizon, Hearts really need to get a result in Latvia this week. However, the form guide suggests they could struggle to even record a point, given that they’ve lost their last three on the spin, been defeated six times in seven matches, and been beaten in all three of their matches in European competitions so far this season (including their Europa League tie).
As for RFS, they are a physical and organised team who are enjoying a terrific 10-game unbeaten run, which includes that fantastic point away to Fiorentina last week. In fact, they’ve suffered just the three defeats in 21 league/cup matches this term, and will now be targeting all three points against a downbeat Hearts.
Hearts are, however, the narrow favourites for this one at around the 5/4 mark. Hosts RFS can be backed at 23/10 to fire their tally to four points, whereas a draw can be backed at 5/2.
With 19 goals in his last 34 matches, RFS striker Andrej Ilic is a sharpshooter in cracking form right now. He stamped his name into the club’s history books after scoring the equaliser away to Fiorentina - he was denied a second after an excellent save - which was his fourth goal in seven European matches this season.
Back on Latvian soil, Ilic will be rubbing his hands at the prospect of facing Hearts, who leaked in four goals last week and haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their 10 matches this season. At 12/5, the 6ft 2in Serbian looks a decent price to add to his goalscoring tally on Thursday night.
For the second bet, I like the look of the hosts to score the first goal of the game at a best-priced 13/10 with bet365.
RFS have found the back of the net in each of their last 13 matches, scoring 29 goals in the process, 16 of which have come in their last seven home games. They’ve broken the deadlock in four of their last six fixtures, and six of the last nine - in 90 minutes - and after scoring nine goals in their last three home games they’ll be brimming with confidence ahead of the visit of Hearts.
Hearts have conceded the first goal of the game in each of their last six fixtures, while they’ve not travelled well at all since April, failing to win any of their last six away games; five of which have been defeats.
You'll now receive our expert tips and predictions from next season.