Hibernian's 2016/17 campaign was a massive success in that they achieved automatic promotion back to the Scottish Premiership in emphatic fashion with an eleven point lead over second-placed Falkirk. They have started their current season in similar style by winning their Scottish League Cup group and confidence in the home camp will be high when they welcome Partick Thistle to Easter Road in their opening league match this coming weekend.
Hibernian will be looking to keep the momentum going and the bookies are quietly confident that they will do pretty well in their first season back in the top flight. Neil Lennon's men are fourth-favourites in the 'Without Celtic' outright market at odds as low as 16/1 and we're optimistic about their chances of finishing in the top-half of the final league table at the very least.
For their part, Partick Thistle looked in serious danger of being dragged into the relegation battle at one stage last season but a win at Ross County was the turning point which saw the Jags climb up the Premiership table to ultimately clinch a place in the top-six before the split. They never really threatened to climb into a European berth and in all honesty we don't expect them to improve on this given their less-than-impressive wins in the group stages of the Scottish League Cup.
The Jags did overcome St Mirren to the tune of 5-0 in that competition but they needed penalties to find a way past Livingston in their opening match and won by single-goal margins against Airdrieonians and Stranraer, sides which they should have beaten comfortably.
When faced with superior opposition in the form of Hibernian, we feel that Partick Thistle will struggle and with the Hibees in high spirits following their promotion to the top-flight, we expect a relatively easy ride for the new-boys as they launch their 2017/18 campaign in excellent fashion by clinching the three points in front of an expectant home support on Saturday afternoon.