Hearts are considering handing Bulgarian teenager Alex Petkov a league debut against Celtic on Sunday.
Coaching staff are impressed with his performances at reserve level and he could make an appearance at Parkhead in the season’s final Premiership match.
The Scottish Cup final a week tomorrow is the priority at Tynecastle Park, so more fringe players will be involved this weekend. Petkov has one senior appearance to his name so far after playing in last season’s Betfred Cup group win against East Fife.
Having signed a new one-year contract last month, the versatile midfielder is now pushing to feature for the first time under manager Craig Levein. “My biggest focus just now is on the shape of the team for the final. If I feel that, within that, I can give someone a chance then there’s always a possibility,” Levein told the Evening News.
“The one who has probably been doing best and not had an opportunity yet is young Alex. He has had an excellent season in the reserves so he might be involved at some point on Sunday.
“We didn’t pick up any injury problems last Friday at Aberdeen. The plan this week is to make a few changes again and rest some others who might need it. It’s pleasing for me that we got a lot of good performances from players who came in last week. At the same time, I’ve managed to rest Michael Smith, John Souttar, Arnaud Djoum and Uche Ikpeazu.
“We will have the benefit of these boys feeling a bit fresher. I will make some changes again on Sunday against Celtic and hopefully we will get a similar type of performance – just a better result.”