Hearts fans have chosen their starting XI for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership fixture with Motherwell and there is a surprising omission.
We asked supporters earlier in the week to pick the team they would like to see against Stephen Robinson’s Steelmen as the Jam Tarts go in search of their fifth successive league win.
Thousands of votes were cast across the poll with 41 per cent of Hearts fans opting for a 4-4-2 formation with 36 per cent preferring 3-5-2.
Zdenek Zlamal. John Souttar and Uche Ikpeazu were overwhelming starters with 98, 91 and 89 per cent of the votes respectively for their position.
In the 4-4-2 system, Michael Smith and Ben Garuccio were selected as the preferred full-backs, while 76 per cent chose Jimmy Dunne as Souttar’s partner.
The partnership in the centre of midfield is no surprise. Despite his return to the squad, Arnaud Djoum received few votes with Olly Lee and Peter Haring the overwhelming favourites.
It was similar in attack with Steven MacLean understandably chosen to partner Ikpeazu after the duo have created a strong relationship as a front pair.
Now, in the wide areas, that is where things got tricky. Seventy one per cent of voters chose Demetri Mitchell as their first option with Callumn Morrison second choice.
It therefore mean that Steven Naismith is left out. Which is madness. He netted a hat-trick in his last outing for Hearts and arrives back to the club on the back of scoring for Scotland.
The issue surrounds Naismith’s positioning. He does a bit of everything. He has played narrow on the wing, as a striker, as a second striker and as a midfielder. Unlike the majority of the side he doesn’t have a clearly defined position.
Going by the votes he would be the third central midfielder in the 3-5-2 system. New signing Clevid Dikamona was selected as the third centre-back, which means Ben Garuccio and Callumn Morrison drop out to make room.
The Hearts fans have spoken but the way the season has transpired so far they will be trust whichever team Craig Levein and his coaching staff choose.
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