Hearts v Dundee: team news, starting XI, how to watch, match odds

After a long wait of seven months, Hearts return to league action, albeit in the second tier rather than Premiership.

By Joel Sked
Thursday, 15th October 2020, 5:00 pm
Robbie Neilson will meet James McPake on the Tynecastle touchline tomorrow evening. Picture: SNS
Robbie Neilson will meet James McPake on the Tynecastle touchline tomorrow evening. Picture: SNS

Robbie Neilson’s men host Dundee in the Championship opener in what is an eagerly-anticipated encounter between two sides who will view themselves as top-flight teams.

Hearts come into the game with a new manager and three wins from three from the Betfred Cup group stages, plus a squad packed with talent and internationals.

Dundee have only played once in the Betfred Cup, winning 2-0 at Brora Rangers with their other fixture being awarded to them due to Forfar Athletic being hit with coronavirus.

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Hearts team news: Robbie Neilson has plenty of choice with the return of Michael Smith and Liam Boyce from international duty, while Steven Naismith and Andy Halliday were rested during the week as eight changes were made for the win over Raith Rovers. Christophe Berra and John Souttar remain out.

Likely line-up (4-2-3-1): Gordon; Smith, Halkett, Popescu, Kingsley; Lee, Irving; Ginnelly, Walker, Naismith; Boyce.

Dundee teams news: Key summer signing Alex Jakubiak is likely to miss out, while Jonathan Afolabi, on loan from Celtic, has returned from international duty. Ex-Hearts forward Osman Sow is unlikely to start.

Likely line-up (3-5-2): Hamilton; McGhee, Forster, Ashcroft; Elliott, Robertson, Adam, Dorrans, Marshall; McGowan, Mullen.

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

How to watch: The game is being shown live on BBC Scotland with the programme starting at 7.30pm. Hearts season ticket holders can access the game via HeartsTV.

Last meeting: The game at Dens Park back in March 2019 wasn’t a classic. Nowhere near it. The game was settled by the scruffiest of goals by Sean Clare to hand the visitors a 1-0 win.

Key stat: By the time kick-off comes around on Friday evening, it will be 1490 days since Hearts were last defeated with Robbie Neilson in charge, a 1-0 away loss to St Johnstone.

Referee: David Munro – Hearts will be hoping it is fifth time lucky being officiated by the whistler. He oversaw four games last season, three ended in league defeats, while he was also the man in the middle as the team drew with East Fife in the Betfred Cup and lost the resultant penalty shootout.

Match odds: Hearts 4/6 Draw 14/5 Dundee 4/1 (odds supplied by McBookie)

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