St Johnstone v Hearts team news and likely line-ups: Star striker recovers in time | new signing to make debut? | first-team stars could leave before game

Everything you need to know ahead of the match at McDiarmid Park

Friday, 31st January 2020, 4:02 pm

Hearts travel to St Johnstone on Saturday looking to record successive league victories for the first time since last February.

Mood around the capital club has been buoyed by last weekend's terrific come-from-behind victory over Rangers and a large, re-energised away crowd will be cheering their team on.

The make-up of Daniel Stendel's squad is still be decided with the club looking at late signings in the transfer market before the end of the window, while the likes of Loic Damour, Jamie Walker and Conor Washington have been linked with moves away from the club.

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Uche Ikpeazu battles for possession during Hearts' last trip to McDiarmid Park. Picture: SNS

One thing is for certain, new signing Marcel Langer has completed his move from Schalke and is expected to go right into the squad for the match.

St Johnstone team news: The hosts are expected to be without Murray Davidson and Drey Wright, both of whom missed the 3-0 defeat to Celtic in midweek. Winger Matty Kennedy, meanwhile, left the club for Aberdeen last week. New signing Jamie McCart is expected to come right into the starting XI for his debut following a January move from Inverness.

St Johnstone probable line-up: Clark; McCart, Gordon, Kerr; O'Halloran, McCann, Holt, Wotherspoon, Tanser; May, Hendry.

Hearts team news: Liam Boyce has recovered from a knock to his quad muscle sustained in the win over Rangers. However, Stendel believes it's highly unlikely either Michael Smith and Aaron Hickey will recover in time for this match or next midweek's visit of Kilmarnock. Peter Haring is the only long-term absentee.

Hearts probable line-up: Pereira; Clare, Halkett, Souttar, White; Washington, Sibbick, Irving, Henderson; Naismith, Boyce.

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Key clash: Liam Boyce against a much-maligned St Johnstone defence will be what many onlookers will be focusing on during this clash. Jason Kerr, in particular, has played far below expectations this season, though it'll be interesting to see whether the defender's form improves with a new centre-back partner in McCart.

Last meeting: St Johnstone defeated Hearts 1-0 at Tynecastle in Daniel Stendel's first match in charge. Callum Hendry grabbed the only goal of the game.

Referee: David Munro was in charge the last time the teams met at McDiarmid Park as Hearts were handed a 1-0 loss in Craig Levein's last match in charge. He's since refereed Hearts' 1-0 defeat away to Hamilton.

Odds: St Johnstone 21/10 Draw 21/10 Hearts 7/5