Hearts v St Mirren team news and probable line-ups: Naismith to start | MacPhee's final game in charge? | Two key doubts

A look ahead to Hearts' Ladbrokes Premiership fixture with St Mirren at Tynecastle on Saturday.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 6:00 am

Hearts welcome St Mirren to Gorgie in the first game at Tynecastle Park since Craig Levein was sacked as manager and director of football.

The Buddies are the only side below the Jam Tarts in the league which presents one of the best opportunities to get the first home league win since March.

However, these matches were part of Levein's downfall with Hearts picking up just two points from games at Tynecastle against Ross County, Hamilton Academical and Motherwell so far this season.

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Hearts and St Mirren played out a goalless draw the last time out. Picture: SNS
Hearts and St Mirren played out a goalless draw the last time out. Picture: SNS

There's the feeling that not much will change until a new man is in place permanently.

Austin MacPhee did not get off to the best of starts, losing the Betfred Cup semi-final to Rangers in a meek fashion.

Fans will be expecting an intense display from their team before the league pauses for an international break with the realisation that a defeat would leave the side bottom of the table.

Jim Goodwin's St Mirren don't give up a lot of goals and have the third best defence in the league. Yet, they have hit the back of the net just five times in 11 games.

Hearts teams news: Hearts could welcome back Steven Naimsith to the starting line-up after the forward came off the bench in the 3-0 defeat to Rangers in the Betfred Cup semi-final. The big news surrounds Glenn Whelan and Michael Smith. The latter have had their issues this week, however it is the Northern Irishman who is more likely to make it. Whelan has had hamstring problems and was taken off in the first half on Sunday.

Probable Hearts XI: Periera; Hickey, Smith, Berra, White; Irving, Damour; Morrison, Meshino, Clare; Naismith.

St Mirren team news: Jim Goodwin has nearly a full complement of players available to him. The Buddies weren't in action at the weekend with Cody Cooke nearing a first-team return after playing in a friendly and reserve game.

Probable St Mirren XI: Hladky; McGinn, Broadfoot, McLoughlin, Waters; McGinn, Foley, Magennis; Andreu, Durmus, Obika.

Key clash: The visitors possess one of the best goalkeepers in the league. There is an argument that he is the best performing stopper this campaign. Hearts have had their issues in front of goal so the last thing they want to face is an in-form goalkeeper. Steven Naismith may start and it could be a fascinating battle.

Last meeting: You don't have to go back far. The two teams played out a forgettable goalless draw at the end of September. It did, however, see the injury to Craig Halkett.

Match details: Saturday, 9 November. Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh. Kick-off 3pm. Tickets are available on the Hearts website.

Referee: Euan Anderson (20 yellow cards, 1 red card in five Premiership matches) - Anderson will take charge of Hearts for the second time in the league this campaign. He officiated the side's 3-2 home defeat to Motherwell where he dished out six bookings.

Match odds: Hearts 19/20 Draw 9/4 St Mirren 3/1