Hearts v Kilmarnock: Match preview and probable line-ups

Hearts players are put through their paces at the Oriam on Friday. Picture: SNS Group
Hearts players are put through their paces at the Oriam on Friday. Picture: SNS Group
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Hearts return to Murrayfield on Sunday hoping for a positive result after two defeats to Hibs and Rangers.

Craig Levein’s injury worries have lessened slightly with the return of Don Cowie, and while Aaron Hughes has an outside chance of making the match, the Jambos are still without Arnaud Djoum, Ashley Smith-Brown, Malaury Martin, Prince Buaben and Jamie Walker.

READ MORE - Hearts must go back to Tynecastle with winning feeling says Michael Smith

One bonus for Levein and Hearts is that the injury Walker picked up in the 3-1 loss to Rangers isn’t as serious as first feared, and he should be back for the Partick Thistle match on 19 November.

Buaben and Djoum are both said to be nearing a return while Cowie has taken part in training this week and is set to make a welcome return to the Jambos midfield.

Connor Randall should also return after missing last week through injury.

Killie recorded impressive draws at Ibrox and Celtic Park in Steve Clarke’s first two matches but were beaten by Hibs in midweek at home.

Clarke has injury concerns over Rory McKenzie, Chris Burke and Dom Thomas as he looks to register his first win since taking the reins at Rugby Park.

McKenzie and Burke were both substituted during the match against Hibs although McKenzie may recover in time to for the visit to the capital.

None of the trio trained on Friday, while Steven Smith (back), Greg Kiltie (ankle), Gary Dicker (stomach) and Iain Wilson (knee) remain sidelined for the Rugby Park side.

A minute’s applause will take place during the 5th minute of the match as a mark of respect for former Hearts midfielder Stefano Salvatori, who died on Tuesday aged 49. He wore the number 5 shirt while at Tynecastle.

The players will also be wearing black armbands.

Last five meetings: Kilmarnock 0-1 Hearts; Kilmarnock 0-0 Hearts; Hearts 4-0 Kilmarnock; Kilmarnock 2-0 Hearts, Hearts 1-0 Kilmarnock

Likely Hearts team: (4-1-4-1): McLaughlin; Randall, Souttar, Berra, Smith; Nowak; Milinkovic, Cowie, Callachan, Goncalves; Lafferty. Subs from: Hamilton, Noring, Grzelak, Brandon, Cochrane, Henderson, Moore, Stockton, Currie.

Likely Kilmarnock team (4-4-2): MacDonald; O’Donnell, Broadfoot, Greer, Findlay; Frizzell, Power, Taylor, McKenzie; Jones, Boyd. Subs from: Bell, S Boyd, Waters, Hawkshaw, Thomas, Erwin, Brophy, Samizadeh, Cameron.

Referee: Kevin Clancy

Kick-off: 3pm

Odds: Hearts 4/5 Draw 77/20 Kilmarnock 3/10 (Odds correct at the time of writing)