Hearts to get DOUBLE star boost ahead of Dundee Championship clash

Hearts are set to be buoyed by the return of Liam Boyce and Michael Smith for the Championship opener on Friday.

By Joel Sked
Sunday, 11th October 2020, 5:14 pm

Robbie Neilson’s men host Dundee in on Friday night in front of the BBC cameras as the lower league campaign gets underway.

The Hearts boss will welcome the duo back into the fold after missing the clubs’ first three Betfred Cup fixtures, even if they aren’t due back until the day before the league fixture.

Boyce and Smith are currently on international duty with Northern Ireland and could face Austria in the Nations League this evening.

Sign up to our Hearts newsletter

Michael Smith is expected to return to the Hearts team for the league opener with Dundee. Picture: SNS

The Hearts striker was the hero in his country’s huge win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final, coming on as a late sub and netting the winning penalty in the shootout victory.

Smith, however, wasn’t included in the squad.

"The boys in the Northern Ireland squad arrive back on Thursday morning,” Neilson confirmed

“They play Wednesday night in Oslo, they fly back in early Thursday morning so they’ll be available for the Dundee game.

Liam Boyce was the hero for Northern Ireland during the week. Picture: SNS

“That was always confirmed to be the case. If it was a Saturday game it would have been better for us but with it being Friday night it means they’ll join up with us later on the Thursday.

"Even if they play on Wednesday I would not have reservations about them playing on the Friday. Michael didn’t play any part on Thursday and Boyce was only on for a minute so they’re not going to be fatigued.”

Don't forget you can get unlimited access to ALL Edinburgh Evening News sport stories for a whole year via our digital sport subscription. Click here to try it out today for as little as £1 a week.