Hearts v Livingston teams news and probable line-ups: Key player to return? | 1 win in 8 | Stendel in the stands
A look ahead to Livingston’s visit to Tynecastle
Hearts find themselves level with St Johnstone and St Mirren at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership as they welcome Livingston to Tynecastle on Wednesday evening.
The 5-0 defeat to Rangers on Sunday means the Jam Tarts have won just once in their last eight games, conceding ten in their last three outings.
The prospective appointment of Daniel Stendel overshadows the build up for the game with Austin MacPhee still in interim charge. The German boss is set to be in the stands for the match, ahead of his first game in charge at Motherwell on Saturday.
Livingston pose a tough prospect despite their own poor form, winning just one of their last 11.
In the previous five meetings between the sides since Livi’s promotion back to the Premiership there have been three goalless draws with Hearts winning and scoring just once.
Hearts team news: Aidy White was replaced at Ibrox following an injury and could miss the clash with Livingston. Austin MacPhee will be hopeful that Micahel Smith recovers from the illness which saw him miss the defeat to Rangers. John Souttar, Ben Garuccio, Conor Washington and Peter Haring are all on the sidelines.
Probable Hearts team (4-2-3-1): Pereira; Smith, Halkett, Berra, Hickey; Whelan, Damour; Walker, Meshino, Mulraney; Naismith.
Livingston team news: Livingston were forced into playing Keaghan Jacobs at right-back against Hamilton Accies with Nicky Devlin out. Ex-Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley was replaced at half-time due to a injury.
Probable Livingston team (4-2-3-1): Sarkic; Jacobs, Lamie, Guthrie, Taylor-Sinclair; Bartley, Crawford; Robinson, Pittman, Lawless; Dykes.
Key clash: The midfield will likely be a congested area on Wednesday evening with Livingston likely to field Scott Pittman, Marvin Bartley and Robbie Crawford. Against Rangers the midfield three of Oliver Bozanic, Glenn Whelan and Jamie Walker didn’t have the legs to get at the opposition. Hearts will need to find away to get Whelan space in middle to dictate play. If not Livi could win the midfield battle with their energy, making it the battle they want.
Last meeting: It wasn’t a memorable occasion as the sides drew 0-0 at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Livingston played most of the second half with ten men with Aymen Souda sent off for a challenge on Christophe Berra.
Match details: Wednesday, December 4. Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh. Kick-off 7.45pm. Tickets available via the Hearts official website.
Referee: Greg Aitken (12 yellow cards and a red card in three league fixtures this season). This will be the fourth Premiership game for Aitken this season. In the previous three fixtures he has officiated Hearts twice. The 2-2 draw with Hamilton back in August and the goalless draw with Livi.
Match odds: Hearts 11/10, Draw 11/5, Livingston 27/10