Hearts v St Johnstone: Match preview and probable line-ups

The last four matches between these two sides have ended in a goalless draw, or a 1-0 win for the home side (Hearts once, St Johnstone twice).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 2nd February 2018, 2:38 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd February 2018, 4:51 pm
Could Joaquim Adao make his Hearts bow against St Johnstone? Picture: SNS Group
Could Joaquim Adao make his Hearts bow against St Johnstone? Picture: SNS Group

Craig Levein strengthened his squad during the latter days of the transfer window with the acquisition of Joaquim Adao on loan from Sion and the arrival from FC Copenhagen of Danny Amankwaa. Neither player is likely to feature from the start against St Johnstone, however, but both could feature from the bench.

With Steven Naismith already in the squad and Kyle Lafferty back from suspension, Levein has a wealth of options in attack, with David Milinkovic and Arnaud Djoum also capable of damage in the final third.

This could be the first match in which former Norwich team-mates Lafferty and Naismith play together in maroon. Naismith replaced Lafferty at Parkhead but the Northern Irishman’s recent three-game suspension has prevented the pair from linking up in the same XI.

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Harry Cochrane misses out after sustaining a neck injury in a clash with Scott Brown during Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss to Celtic in Glasgow while Rory Currie, Malaury Martin and Don Cowie will also miss the match.

St Johnstone only have Callum Hendry and Brian Easton sidelined for the trip to the capital, with Tommy Wright having an otherwise full squad at his disposal.

Chris Kane’s hat-trick in the cup against Albion Rovers on Monday night will have given his manager food for thought, and he could start as the lone striker for the visitors at Tynecastle.

New signing Matty Willock, on loan from Manchester United, will feature but fellow loan signing George Williams won’t play any part in tomorrow’s fixture.

Last five meetings: St Johnstone 0-0 Hearts; Hearts 1-0 St Johnstone; St Johnstone 1-0 Hearts; St Johnstone 1-0 Hearts; Hearts 2-2 St Johnstone.

Likely Hearts team (4-2-3-1): McLaughlin; Randall, Souttar, Berra, Mitchell; Buaben, Irving; Djoum, Naismith, Milinkovic; Lafferty. Subs from: Hamilton, Hughes, Smith, Brandon, Adao, Henderson, McDonald, Amankwaa, Moore.

Likely St Johnstone team (4-2-3-1): Mannus; Foster, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Gordon; Davidson, Craig; Alston, MacLean, Scougall; Kane. Subs from: Clark, Comrie, Kerr, Wotherspoon, McClean, Thomson, Johnstone, McCann, Willock.

Referee: Andrew Dallas

Kick-off: 3.00pm

Odds: Hearts 21/25 Draw 11/4 St Johnstone 4/1 (Odds correct at the time of writing)