Hearts given a boost by return of Billy King

Billy King
Billy King
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Billy king will return from injury for Hearts against Livingston this weekend in a major boost for head coach Robbie Neilson.

The winger missed Wednesday night’s League Cup defeat by Celtic with an ankle knock but has recovered to take his place in the squad for Sunday.

King is Hearts’ joint-top goalscorer with four goals so far this season, the same total as Swedish striker Osman Sow. He has thrived under the guidance of Neilson and his assistant Stevie Crawford and established himself as a first-team regular, starting every league game so far.

The 20-year-old picked up a minor ankle problem which prevented him facing Celtic at Parkhead in midweek, but he is expected to start the match against Livingston as Hearts aim to increase their three-point lead over Rangers at the top of the SPFL Championship. The Glasgow club don’t play until Monday night against Hibs.

Spanish midfielder Miguel Pallardo is also expected to feature at some stage on Sunday.

He signed a contract with Hearts earlier this month which lasts until the end of the season but has yet to make a competitive appearance.

He has been working on his fitness in training sessions at Riccarton and is now poised to make his debut in a game which brings former Hearts manager John McGlynn back to Tynecastle for the first time. The Livingston manager is seeking a second successive victory over Hearts having knocked them out of the Petrofac Training Cup with a 4-1 win at Almondvale last month.