Hearts v Stenhousemuir preview: Injury concerns in midfield | experienced pro to get a rest | 2018 signing exits club

Hearts go into tonight's match with Stenhousemuir looking to take a commanding position in Group A of the Betfred Cup.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 12:31 pm
Hearts midfielder Harry Cochrane.

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That would leave the Tynecastle club requiring just a point from their final game at East Fife to clinch the group and secure passage to the knock-out stages.

Firstly they'll have to take care of business on Wednesday, but having looked so commanding against fellow League Two side Cowdenbeath the last time out, this should be a comfortable night for the hosts.

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Hearts midfielder Harry Cochrane.

Hearts team news

Ryan Edwards has been the latest player to leave the club after his move to Burton Albion was sealed yesterday. Olly Lee too looks to be heading out the exit door and has played no part in the Betfred Cup so far.

Youngsters Callumn Morrison and Harry Cochrane will be unlikely to feature with the former still returning from injury and the latter struggling with a back complaint.

Captain Christophe Berra is expected to be given a rest after playing the first two games, while Aidy White is not yet ready to make his return after a sustained period out through injury.

Ben Garuccio won't return until November after knee surgery.

Hearts possible line-up

Zlamal; M Smith, Souttar, Halkett, Hickey; McDonald, Clare, Bozanic, Walker; Washington, Ikpeazu. Subs from: Doyle, Mulraney, Brandon, Berra, Dikamona, Burns, C Smith, Zanatta, Irving, Moore, Keena, MacLean

Stenhousemuir team news

Chris O'Neill was forced off towards the end of the Warriors 2-0 loss at East Fife, but he could return for the trip to Tynecastle.

Stenhousemuir possible line-up

G Smith; O'Neill, A Munro, Marsh, McIlduff; Scullion, Halleran, McKernon, Cook; Hopkirk, McGuigan. Subs from: Marley, M Munro, McLaughlin, Gibbons, Luke, Watters, Anderson, Daramola

Magic number

9 - Goals scored by Hearts against Stenny in a 1931 Scottish Cup tie. The score finished 9-1 with legendary Jambos Barney Battles Jr and Alex Massie getting on the scoresheet.

Key battle

If Stenhousemuir are to get anything from the match then fans' favourite and leading goalscorer Mark McGuigan will need to find the back of the net. He'll be going up against Craig Halkett. The summer signing will be making his second appearance for Hearts, but his first alongside John Souttar. If those two can quickly strike up an understanding then there won't be much trouble from the visitors.

Referee

Predominantly a lower league referee, Alan Newlands has yet to take charge of a match involving Hearts.

Odds

Hearts 2/15 Draw 13/2 Stenhousemuir 14/1