How Hearts could line-up against Hibs in the Edinburgh derby
As the club's chairwoman Ann Budge noted in her statement to Hearts supporters, manager Craig Levein had to deal with injuries to key players last season and it is a problem which has carried on into this campaign.
By Joel Sked
Thursday, 19th September 2019, 11:36 am
So far, like the man in the opposite dugout at Easter Road on Sunday, the Tynecastle boss has made 15 changes across five league games so far. The XI which will start the Edinburgh derby will very much be dependent on how the injury list clears up before the 3pm kick-off. Could the following be the team Levein opts for in a 4-2-3-1 formation?
Earlier this month it was hoped the on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper would be back for the derby. Colin Doyle and Zdenek Zlamal have struggled.
The Northern Irishman made the bench against Motherwell. He is a huge miss when he doesn't play.
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There is no question of the former Livingston not playing. He'll be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Christophe Berra had one of his best games last season in the derby. Has not had a good campaign so far but Hibs could bring out his best qualities.
It would probably make sense to take the talented teen out and underperforming team give him a breather. But not Sunday. He is too important for that.
Positive impact off the bench against Motherwell. His combative qualities will be welcomed in the derby.
The experienced midfielder has not had a strong start to his Hearts career but if there was a time to step up and show his quality it is Sunday.
The Japanese star was excellent against Motherwell after coming on. Has to start and bring some sparkle to the side.
Another week of rest should see him make it with Levein knowing his best chance of getting that much-needed win is with him in the team.
Has the pace to expose Jason Naismith and Heckingbottom's tendency to play full-backs high up the park.
With Conor Washington out for three months Hearts fans will be hoping the Englishman can take the confidence of scoring his first of the season into the derby.