Robbie Neilson provides Hearts team news and injury update ahead of Hibs clash
As Hearts prepare to welcome Hibs to Tynecastle Park for the season’s first Edinburgh derby, they are boosted by having almost a full squad to choose from.
Stephen Kingsley is available again after missing the last two matches through illness, while recent signings Barrie McKay, Cameron Devlin, Taylor Moore and Ben Woodburn are all pushing to be involved.
Michael Smith will be assessed after coming off with a leg knock during Northern Ireland’s draw with Switzerland on Wednesday. Hearts’ only definite absentee is teenage defender Cammy Logan, who is still working up to full fitness after a summer of injury issues.
Sky Sports will broadcast Sunday’s derby live with many expecting a high-octane affair between the two teams at the top of the cinch Premiership table.
The incentive for both is a chance to move three points clear of the other and lead the table outright. Robbie Neilson, the Hearts manager, is happy with the options available to him for such a vital fixture, and in particular the return of defender Kingsley.
“He has been back in full training since the end of last week so he will be fine,” said Neilson. “Alex Cochrane dropped in to left centre-back in the last couple of games and did really well with Stephen out.
“Andy Halliday has also been great at left wing-back, so we have options. We will get injuries throughout the season and, with Stephen being out, we have managed to put two players in there who have done really well.
“Since the end of last season we have focused on bringing players in who would give us plenty choice in every area so I’m pleased with the squad we have now that the transfer window is shut.”
One of those recruits is the Australian midfielder Devlin, who is eager to make his Hearts debut after arriving from Newcastle Jets. His transfer was announced on deadline day last week and he will be in the squad to face Hibs.
“He will be involved,” confirmed Neilson. “He’s looking sharp. We had a bounce game last week and he did really well.”