Game of the weekend: Hearts v Aberdeen

Hearts and Aberdeen are like mirror images of one another as they prepare to meet at Tynecastle.

And not just because they are sides traditionally among the strongest outside of the Old Firm who are so far failing to live up to their billing.

Both have suffered painful defeats in European competition - Aberdeen dropping down from the Europa League to Conference League, while Hearts missed out on the group stage of the latter completely.

Both have made a poor start to the domestic campaign, leading to discontent among some fans about managers recently appointed permanently following spells as caretakers.

In Steven Naismith's case, that came despite his Hearts side failing to score in each of their last three league games and, including two against PAOK, having now lost four on the bounce. The European knocks came with Naismith officially operating as technical director as the former Scotland forward did not have the coaching qualifications required for Uefa competitions.

Aberdeen's fine end to the last campaign, when they usurped Hearts to finish third, secured Barry Robson the manager's job, but the honeymoon period is well and truly over after a seven-game start to the current campaign during which their only win came narrowly against League 1 hosts Stirling Albion.

Miss out on three points at Tynecastle and Robson will be the first Aberdeen manager to fail to win his first five games of a league season since Ebbe Skovdahl's nine in 1999.

Robson and his players point to the number of summer recruits still looking to gel, but that can only be an excuse for so long.

Hearts have had more open play sequences of 10+ passes - and had more of these lead to a shot or touch in the opposition's box - in this season's Premiership than any other team than Celtic. Aberdeen will be hoping that Saturday is not the day those turn into long-awaited goals.