Hearts v Cove Rangers: team news, starting XI, how to watch live

Hearts return to Tynecastle Park on Tuesday to play in front of fans for the first time since March 2020.

Hearts face Cove Rangers in the Premier Sports Cup after defeating Peterhead. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Hearts face Cove Rangers in the Premier Sports Cup after defeating Peterhead. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

Back then, the team drew 1-1 with Motherwell, a result which didn't help the aim of getting off the bottom of the Premiership table.

Their first competitive opponents in front of fans are Paul Hartley's Cove Rangers who were surprisingly defeated 3-2 by Stirling Albion at the weekend in the Premier Sports Cup.

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The former Highland League side, who won League Two in their first SPFL campaign, are favourites to win League One having finished third last season.

There will be 2,000 Hearts supporters in attendance for the clash as preparations continue for the cinch Premiership which starts with a home match against Celtic.

The season started on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Peterhead.

Robbie Neilson’s men were comfortable in their victory at Balmoor on Saturday with Liam Boyce and Garay Mackay-Steven scoring the goals.

The club confirmed a pre-season match with Sunderland to fill their free weekend after the Cove Rangers encounter.

Team news: Hearts could welcome back Armand Gnanduillet. The Frenchman missed the win over Peterhead due to a thigh complaint after a fine goal scoring pre-season. Neilson had arguably his strongest squad available to him aside from Gnanduillet at the weekend.

Possible XI: Gordon; Souttar, Halkett, Kingsley; Smith, Haring, McEneff, Cochrane; Mackay-Steven; Boyce, Gnanduillet.

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What the manager said: “We’ve only been back a few weeks for pre-season and we’re trying to work on a couple different systems as well. There are still wee things to polish off. We’re back at Tynecastle and have 2,000 fans coming which will make a huge difference. We only had 250 at Peterhead and even that gave it a wee bit of an atmosphere. At Hearts it’s just about winning games.”

Match details: Tuesday, July 12. Kick-off 7.45pm. Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh.

How to watch: Live coverage is being provided by the competition’s sponsors Premier Sports. It will be on Premier Sports 1 and build-up begins at 7.15pm.

Last meeting: The teams have only faced each other on one previous occasion, this stage of the League Cup in 2018. A new look Hearts team under Craig Levein visited Balmoral Stadium where they eked out a 2-1 win over the team who would go on to win the Highland League that season and promotion to League Two. Olly Lee opened the scoring early on with Steven MacLean adding a second before the hour mark. Paul McManus scored to make it a nervy finish. Hearts were deducted two points for fielding Andy Irving off the bench with the midfielder ineligible.

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Key stat: Hearts will be aiming to make it seven clean sheets in a row when they face Cove Rangers. For Craig Gordon, he could break a club record with nine in consecutive games.

Referee: Colin Steven – Hearts had the official on three occasions last season. In one game – a 1-1 draw at Queen of the South – Steven awarded both teams a penalty, with Liam Boyce netting his in the 90th minute to earn a draw.

Match odds: Hearts 1/5 Draw 6/1 Cove Rangers 11/1

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