Cowdenbeath v Hearts preview: Hearts winger a doubt | Levein to ring the changes | two potential debuts
Hearts will travel to Cowdenbeath on Tuesday evening for the second match in Group A of the Betfred Cup.
If they are able to defeat Cowden then they'll move about their opponents into first. The Central Park club defeated near-neighbours East Fife in the only other group game at the weekend.
Manager Craig Levein is expected to ring the changes for this one as he seeks to get his players in peak physical condition prior to the start of the league season.
A first Hearts start is expected for summer signing Craig Halkett, while don't be too surprised if Aidy White is given his first run out in maroon.
Possible Cowdenbeath team
Dabrowski; Mullen, Barr, Todd, Pyper; Taylor, Miller, Thomas, Buchanan; Cox, Renton. Subs from: Pollock, Sneddon, Swann, Valentine, Herd, Malcolm, Ownes, Allan, Connelly, Sheerin.
Hearts team news
Peter Haring is likely to miss the entire Betfred Cup group stage campaign and could miss the first weekend of the Ladbrokes Premiership season after being sent for a second opinion on his groin/pelvic problem. Andy Irving will also be absent from this match as he serves a suspension following a late red card against Dundee United. Jake Mulraney has a slight injury and is unlikely to be risked. Ben Garuccio and Olly Lee remain long-term absentees.
Possible Hearts team
Zlamal; M Smith, Souttar, Halkett, White; Clare, Bozanic, Cochrane, Wighton; MacLean, Washington. Subs from: Doyle, Brandon, Burns, Dikamona, Hickey, Walker, C Smith, Edwards, Morrison, Ikpeazu, MacLean, Mulraney, MacDonald, Zanatta, Keena
29 - goals scored by Hearts in their last six competitive matches against the Blue Brazil, an average of just under five goals per game. This run stretches back to 1997, though five of the six matches took place in the last five years.
Conor Washington will be looking to show more in this contest than on his debut against Dundee United and he should be able to break his goal duct and build some early momentum at Hearts against the League Two side. He'll be going up against Craig Barr, a centre-back who would've been more than good enough to play Championship level were it not for a lengthy series of injuries.
Colin Steven only moved up to regularly refereeing Championship matches in the past two seasons and has taken charge of just one Premiership contest to date. This will be his first match involving Hearts.
Cowdenbeath 17/2 Draw 19/4 Hearts 2/9