Scottish Cup tie could force Hearts to postpone first league game of 2019

Hearts will be forced to postpone their first league fixture of 2019 in the event of Sunday's Scottish Cup tie with Livingston going to a replay.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 14:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 14:33 pm
The Scottish Cup replay dates have caused a headache

A draw at Tynecastle Park in the fourth-round tie would mean a replay at the Tony Macaroni Arena just three days later on Wednesday, January 23 - the same night Hearts host Dundee in the Premiership.

That match would therefore need put back as the cup tie would take precedence. Livingston's Premiership trip to St Johnstone on the same evening would also be called off.

Normally, cup replays take place around ten days after the original match but live televised league games mean that isn't possible on this occasion.

The Scottish Cup replay dates have caused a headache

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Livingston host Rangers live on Sky Sports on Sunday, January 27, meaning they would not be asked to play 48 hours later on Tuesday, January 29.

Hearts couldn't play on Wednesday, January 30, as they travel to Kilmarnock 48 hours later on Friday, February 1, for a game BT Sport will broadcast.

The following midweek is not an option either because Hearts are due to host Livingston in the Premiership.

The Scottish Football Association has agreed with both clubs that any replay would require to be played next Wednesday.

That could inconvenience supporters, particularly for travelling Dundee fans who may find they have no game to attend with only three days' notice.