RFS v Hearts: TV channel; kick-off time; team news; form guide; odds

Hearts are in the Latvian capital of Riga for their second Europa Conference League Group A fixture against FK Rīgas Futbola Skola – better known as RFS – on Thursday. Here is all you need to know:

Match info

What: RFS v Hearts, Europa Conference League Group A

When: Thursday, September 15. Kick-off 8pm UK time.

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Where: The match is being played at the 8,000-capacity Skonto Stadium, which is not the Latvia team’s regular home venue. It is home to city rivals Riga FC. RFS usually play at LNK Sporta Parks, a new sports complex which has a capacity of just 2,300.

TV and ticket info

The match will be screen live on BT Sport 1, with coverage starting at 7.30pm. Hearts have sold out their allocation for Skonto Stadium.

Team news

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Andrej Ilic of FK RFS celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Fiorentina. Pixture: Gabriele Maltinti/Getty

Hearts will have Jorge Grant available again after suspension ruled the midfielder out of last week's opening Group A match against Istanbul Basaksehir at Tynecastle Park. He is expected to start. Craig Halkett was described as “touch and go” last week so could be in contention to return following his hamstring injury.

Barring any injury issues, RFS boss Viktors Morozs will almost certainly be prepared to stick with the same XI from the draw at Fiorentina. But he has options in reserve, including Deniss Rakels, a player who has eight goals from 15 league games this season.

Form guide

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There is no getting away from it, Hearts are on a bad run. They go into this game on the back of six defeats from seven matches in all competitions, their solitary win during that time a 3-2 scoreline at home to St Johnstone.

RFS recorded one of the best results in their history against Fiorentina last week, coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw in Italy courtesy of Andrej Ilic's 74th-minute equaliser.

They have not kept a clean sheet in Europe for seven matches, but are now very much in the race for qualification from this group.

They are currently third, seven points adrift of the leaders, in Latvia's top flight, which runs from March to November.

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They are also on a 10-match unbeaten streak in all competitions. The team's top scorer Andrej Ilic scored his 20th goal of the season at the weekend in a 3-0 win over Spartaks Jurmala.

Head-to-head

Hearts have not played Lativian opposition before. Their last trip to eastern Europe was back in 2016 against Infonet Tallinn of Estonia, where a 4-2 away win sealed a 6-3 victory on aggregate.

RFS are just the second Latvian side in history to reach the group stage of a European competition. They won the Virsliga, the country's top flight, for the first time in history in November last year.

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Match officials

Aleksandar Stavrev from North Macedonia is the man in the middle, supported by compatriots Dejan Kostadinov and Goce Petreski on the line and Jovan Kachevski as fourth officials.

Manager thoughts

Robbie Neilson: “Riga sit in and hit you on the counter-attack because they are very well organised. We showed in the Zurich game, and the first 50 minutes against Istanbul, that we were in the game and creating chances. We have to do that for the full 90.”

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Bookies’ odds

Home 2/1, Draw 23/10, Away 13/10, with McBookie.