Hearts v Raith Rovers: Betfred Cup team news, starting XI, how to watch, match odds

Hearts continue their Betfred Cup campaign at home to newly-promoted Championship outfit Raith Rovers on Tuesday night.

Hearts host Raith Rovers in a Betfred Cup tie on Tuesday night. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Hearts host Raith Rovers in a Betfred Cup tie on Tuesday night. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The Tynecastle side are aiming to retain top spot in the Group A standings after taking six points from the opening two fixtures with successive 1-0 victories over Inverness CT and Cowdenbeath.

Rovers are managed by former Hearts head coach John McGlynn, who is in his second spell in charge of the Kirkcaldy club.

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However, the 58-year-old may be denied a return to his old stomping ground after he was forced to miss his side’s weekend win over East Fife as he recovers from a stomach operation with another former Jambo, assistant Paul Smith, taking charge in his absence.

For the home side, after a less than impressive display in Methil on Saturday, Robbie Neilson will be keen for his men to put in a more polished performance ahead of the opening Championship fixture at home to Dundee on Friday.

Team news: Hearts will again be without Michael Smith and Liam Boyce who are on international duty with Northern Ireland, while Andy Irving’s late call-up to the Scotland Under-21s also rules him out. However, on a positive note, Andy Halliday and Stephen Kingsley are back in the squad after missing the weekend's game. Christophe Berra and John Souttar remain long-term absentees.

Possible line-up: (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Brandon, Halkett, Popescu, Kingsley; Halliday, Lee; Roberts, Walker, Frear; Naismith. Subs from: Ginnelly, McGill, Wighton, Haring, Cochrane, Moore, Henderson, Zlamal.

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

How to watch: The game is being broadcast live on subscription channel Premier Sports 1 with coverage beginning at 7.15pm.

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Hearts TV international subscribers can also watch the match by logging into their account as normal while Hearts TV subscribers within the UK & Ireland can listen to live audio from 7.30pm.

For those that miss the game, it is being shown again on Freesports at 7pm on Wednesday.

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Last meeting: The club's last met in another Betfred Cup group match played at Bayview (due to Raith’s new artificial surface being laid) in July 2018. That match ended in a 1-1 draw with Michael Smith’s equaliser cancelling out Kevin Nisbet’s opener for the ‘home’ side. Hearts went on to claim the extra point with a 4-2 win in the penalty shoot-out.

Key stat: Jamie Walker’s first senior appearance came on loan at Raith Rovers during McGlynn’s first spell in charge of the Kirkcaldy club. The winger made his debut for Raith on 26 November 2011 in their 3-2 win against Hamilton. After a brief period back at Hearts in January, he returned to Raith for the rest of the 2011/12 season, and scored his first senior goal on 11 February in a 2-2 draw with Ross County. In total he made 23 appearances for the Stark’s Park outfit, scoring three goals.

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Referee: Craig Napier – the whistler takes charge of a Hearts match for the first time. He will be assisted by Dougie Potter and John McCrossan with Barry Cook the fourth official.

Match odds: Hearts 2/5 Draw 15/4 Raith 5/1 (odds supplied by McBookie)