Hibernian may not have enjoyed any success in Europe in recent years, however they will be confident of winning their first European tie since 2006 when they lock horns with Faroese outfit NSI Runavik on Thursday night. Hibs’ last European success came in the Intertoto cup when they demolished Latvian outfit Dinaberg before being knocked out on away goals by Odense and since then they have fallen at the first hurdle on four subsequent occasions. Nevertheless they have been handed an extremely kind draw this time out with their opponents only managing to get close to advancing past the opening tie once in eleven attempts, this being when they lost 5-4 on aggregate to Northern Irish side Linfield three seasons ago.
Neil Lennon threatened to quit as Hibernian manager at the end of last season, the reason being that his men took a mere two points from a possible nine at the close of the campaign, however this was almost certainly said in the heat of the moment and in reality Hibernian fared better than many pundits predicted prior to the start of the season. Lennon is still at Easter Road and he has presided over two pre-season friendly wins over Linlithgow Rose (2-0) and Berwick Rangers (6-0) as well as a 2-0 defeat to English Championship side Blackburn Rovers last time out.
On paper there is a sizeable gulf in quality between Hibernian and their Europa League opponents and we expect this to become apparent from the outset. Indeed it will be a major surprise were Hibs to not only win this match but score a shed-load of goals along the way and we’ll be siding with the home side to record an emphatic victory on Thursday evening with Betfair Bookmakers going 12/5 on Hibernian to win by four goals or more.