Hearts v Rangers teams news and probable line-ups: Austin MacPhee in charge | Naismith to return | Sean Clare a doubt

Preview of the Betfred Cup semi-final clash between Hearts and Rangers on Sunday at Hampden Park.

By Joel Sked
Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:39 am
Updated Friday, 1st November 2019, 8:55 am

When Hearts run out at Hampden Park on Sunday afternoon to face Rangers they will be backed by a support of no more than 12,000 fans and will not be managed by Craig Levein.

The 1-0 defeat to St Johnstone turned out to be the last straw with discontent shown by fans who travelled to Perth and had Tynecastle with chants and graffiti directed at him following the loss.

Hearts sit second bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table on goal difference with one league win all season.

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Hearts have showed they can compete with Rangers. Picture: SNS

Austin MacPhee now takes temporary charge of the team until a new manager is appointed, one who will not work under Levein who remains at the club until his contract expires at the end of the season.

The team have shown they are capable of matching Rangers at Tynecastle earlier in the season but Hampden Park in a semi final is a different proposition.

Hearts teams news: Jamie Walker and Glenn Whelan were second-half substitutes in the 1-0 defeat at St Johnstone on Wednesday evening, so both will probably start. Steven Naismith could take a place on the bench. Sean Clare could be a doubt after getting a heavy knock against Saints. Peter Haring is likely to miss out, as will John Souttar, Craig Halkett and Ben Garuccio.

Probable Hearts XI: Pereira; Hickey, Smith, Berra, White; Whelan, Damour; Walker, Meshino, Clare; Ikpeazu.

Rangers teams news: There are concerns over goalkeeper Allan McGregor and winger Ryan Kent. Both missed the club's win at Ross County during the week. Steven Gerrard said the club are "managing" Kent's fitness, while McGregor is expected to be fit for Sunday.

Probable Rangers XI: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Katic, Barisic; Davis, Jack, Aribo; Arfield, Morelos, Ojo.

Key clash: After the 1-1 draw with Rangers in the league, Uche Ikpeazu posted a picture on Instagram of him shaking hands with Nikola Katic accompanied by the phrase 'see you in two weeks'. If the Croatian starts the duo will likely pick up from where they last left it at Tynecastle. The Rangers defender was haranguing the referee over Ikpeazu's physical play and apparent shirt pulling. Hearts' best chance of success is likely to come from their English battering ram.

Last meeting: The club's met earlier in October at Tynecastle Park. For the first 20 minutes it was the best Hearts had played this season as they went ahead through Ryo Meshino. Alfredo Morelos equalised for the visitors and the game finished 1-1.

Match details: Sunday, 3rd November. Hampden Park, Glasgow. Kick-off 3pm. Tickets are still available via the Hearts website. The match is shown live on BT Sport 1.

Referee: John Beaton (Six yellow cards in two Betfred Cup games) - The whistler was in charge at Easter Road when Hearts won their only league game of the season so far against Hibs.

Odds: Hearts 15/2 Draw 4/1 Rangers 1/3

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