Hearts trio to get game time as boss Craig Levein rotates squad

Hearts manager Craig Levein was in a positive mood as he took training
Hearts manager Craig Levein was in a positive mood as he took training
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Clevid Dikamona, Craig Wighton and Ryan Edwards will all feature for Hearts as manager Craig Levein rotates his squad before the Scottish Cup final.

The triumvirate could play at Aberdeen tonight, with Levein keen to rest established names to preserve them for the Hampden Park showpiece later this month.

Dikamona, the Congolese defender, has not started a match since February 23 and made only three substitute appearances in the intervening 11 weeks. He will be used in Hearts’ final two league games against Aberdeen and Celtic.

Wighton is also expected to get game time in those matches having been a peripheral figure at Tynecastle Park since joining from Dundee last August. Following injuries to fellow strikers Steven Naismith, Uche Ikpeazu and Aidan Keena, he could secure a place in Levein’s squad for the final.

Edwards finally made his Hearts debut against Hibs last month, ten months after moving from Partick Thistle. He then started the 1-0 defeat against Kilmarnock last weekend and remains in the frame for Pittodrie.

Levein stressed that his priority now is keeping his strongest players fit and available to face Celtic in the cup final. That will mean some careful decisions on leaving certain players out between now and then.

“Clevid could do with a game, Edwards came in last week so he will be involved, Wighton and Sean Clare need games. I’ve got plenty options,” Levein explained to the Evening News. “After last week and looking at the league table, the biggest thing on the horizon now is the cup final.

“If we were within touching distance of third place or something like that, then there would be a reason not to be selective. Now, I feel it’s probably sensible to try and get to the cup final in the best shape we can.”