Hearts v İstanbul Başakşehir: TV channel; kick-off time; team news; form guide; odds

Hearts kick off their Europa Conference League campaign at home to İstanbul Başakşehir on Saturday. Here is all you need to know:

TV and ticket info

The match kicks off at Tynecastle Park on Thursday, September 8 at 5.45pm. The game will be broadcast live by BT Sport with coverage starting at 5.15pm. The broadcast will last until 8.15pm.

Team news

Istanbul Basaksehir come to Tynecastle on Thursday evening for the opening match of the Europa Conference League. Picture: Getty

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Craig Halkett remains sidelined as he recovers from a hamstring problem.

Robert Snodgrass will be unable to feature in this or any other of Hearts’ group stages encounters having not been signed in time to be registered.

Michael Smith was rested for the trip to Livingston and will be expected to return at right-back. Craig Halkett was rated as “touch-and-go” for the Almondvale encounter so there’s hope he could be ready for this one. Jorge Grant is suspended after his red card against FC Zurich.

Orestis Kiomourtzoglou is still waiting for a green light for the home office to play after joining on a three-year deal.

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Their opponents’ marquee summer signing, Mesut Ozil, is doubtful for this game.

Form guide

Hearts go into the match in something of a sticky patch with five defeats in their last six games, though some context should be applied with two matches against Swiss champions FC Zurich and a trip to reigning Scottish title holders Celtic in that sequence.

Istanbul, meanwhile, are undefeated in four league games and six European encounters thus far.

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Head-to-head

This will be the first time the two teams have ever faced each other. While occupying different sides of Europe (though Turkey is generally thought of as in Western Asia) is the main factor, Başakşehir only came into existence in 1990 and their first year in Europe was 2015, the season before Hearts last played on the continent prior to the current campaign.

Match officials

Krzysztof Jakubik leads the all-Polish crew. He will be assisted by Arkadiusz Wójcik and Tomasz Niemirowski, while Damian Kos is the fourth official.

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Manager thoughts

Robbie Neilson: “For me, the spark comes from the energy and freshness. We don't seem to have that at the moment and we need to try and get back to that.

"Tynecastle with 20,000 people will generate that but hopefully the four days' recovery will also help after Saturday.”

Bookies’ odds

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Home 9/4, Draw 23/10, Away 11/10, with McBookie.

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