Hibs face Arbroath in their third League Cup group stage clash. It’ll be a good indicator of how ready Paul Heckingbottom’s side is for the upcoming Premiership games.
It’ll be the first time the sides have faced each other since, well, a pre-season match just a couple of weeks ago.
It was the Litchies that came out on top of that though, beating Heckingbottom’s side 3-2.
Arbroath will show if Hibs have improved
The Hibees have made hard work of this group so far when it really shouldn’t have been. The draw was very kind to them, placing them in Group C with four part-time clubs. Two are from League Two, one’s just made a Championship return and the other narrowly escaped the drop last term.
Sure, it’s still July, but Hibs should be turning these teams over with ease. The pre-season excuse isn’t valid, they aren’t the only ones getting back to fitness. They are a full-time team trying to do it, whereas their Group C opponents only train two or three times a week.
Their big problem has been up top. Hibs dominated possession in the two games against Alloa and Stirling Albion, but once it got in the final third, it was all for nothing in most attacks.
This Arbroath clash will be a great indicator as to how far they’ve progressed in the early stages of the season. A convincing win shows they are in a much better position than they were a few weeks ago.
A defeat or even a draw shows they haven’t made much progress. Results don’t matter much in a friendly but this is a competitive match. Plus, the failure to beat Arbroath twice would send alarm bells ringing for some Hibs fans.
Heckingbottom’s men should ease past the Litchies, but as there previous meeting showed, that isn’t simple. This game will be an indicator as to how much progress the club have made on the park so far this term.