Hearts match preview: Nicholson suspended

A section of Hearts supporter booed the departing Sam Nicholson
A section of Hearts supporter booed the departing Sam Nicholson
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Hearts manager Ian Cathro will have to cope without winger Sam Nicholson when Dundee visit Tynecastle in the Premiership,

Nicholson who was sent-off for spitting in the midweek defeat by St Johnstone.

Hearts sit fifth in the Ladbrokes Premiership, five points behind St Johnstone and the final possible Europa League spot. They are are only three points ahead of sixth-placed Partick Thistle.

Cathro has not seen his side win since their 4-0 demolishing of Hamilton in March, and Hearts have secured 10 out of a possible 30 since the start of 2017.

Cathro will be without Nicholson (suspended), Callum Paterson (knee) John Souttar (Achilles), Aaron Hughes (calf) and Lennard Sowah (hamstring) for the game against Dundee. He will have to hope that the centre-back pair of Tasos Avlonitis and Krystian Nowak have a better outing than their last at Tynecastle, Celtic’s 5-0 title-securing victory.

Dundee manager and ex-Hearts man Paul Hartley will be without striker Faissal El Bahktaoui due to a calf injury, centre-backs Julen Extabeguren (Achilles), James McPake (knee) and Kostadin Gadzhalov (calf). Kevin Gomis and Darren O’Dea will therefore continue their partnership at the back, while Danny Williams is also suspended.

Probable Hearts XI (4-2-3-1): Hamilton; Smith, Avlonitis, Nowak, Struna; Tzilois, Buaben; Cowie, Djoum, Walker; Goncalves. Subs from: Noring, Rherras, Oshaniwa, Beith, Choulay, Kitchen, Martin, Currie, Johnsen.

Probable Dundee XI (4-4-2): Bain; Kerr, Gomis, O’Dea, Holt; O’Hara, Vincent, Hateley, McGowan; Haber, Ojamaa. Subs from: Higgins, Mitchell, Ross, Klok, Wighton, Higgins.

Referee: Crawford Allan

Where and when: Tynecastle, tomorrow, 3pm kick-off.

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