Hearts V Dundee Utd at Tynecastle Stadium : Match Preview

22 December 2012 02:31
Hearts V Dundee Utd - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hearts expect key names to be fit

Darren Barr, Jason Holt, Arvydas Novikovas and Mehdi Taouil should be fit as Hearts tackle Dundee United in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Sunday.

Barr (shin), Holt, Novikovas (both ankle) and Taouil (groin) should shake off knocks in time to play at Tynecastle.

Midfielder Scott Robinson is available following a dispute, but due to the returning players may not be included, while Jamie Hamill and Danny Grainger (both knee) remain out.

Sunday's match should see Rudi Skacel, a Scottish Cup winner with Hearts in 2006 and 2012, return to Tynecastle.

Despite being a member of the opposition, Skacel, who was withdrawn from the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-final penalty shootout between the teams at Tannadice earlier this season, could be the most popular player at Tynecastle.

There is a proposed 51st-minute ovation for the Czech forward, the time a reference to the 5-1 cup final defeat of Hibs, when Skacel scored twice.

"I'll not be clapping," boss John McGlynn said.

"Rudi will always have a special place at Tynecastle.

"I'm sure if he's on the park he'll be doing his best for Dundee United, because they pay his wages."

United defender Sean Dillon is a major doubt with a troublesome thigh injury.

Winger Gary Mackay-Steven remains on the sidelines after breaking his hand in the recent match away to Ross County.

Manager Peter Houston hopes his side take out their frustration from last weekend's draw against Inverness on Heart.

The Tannadice club were cruising at 3-0 after just eight minutes of their match with Caley Thistle before they surrendered a healthy lead and needed a last-minute Jon Daly penalty to secure a share of the spoils in the 4-4 draw.

Now, United are preparing to take on their Edinburgh opponents in the capital this weekend, and Houston wants his players to show a positive reaction from last Saturday's disappointment as they bid to climb the SPL table.

Houston said: "The players were frustrated with the fact we didn't get three points last week when we should have done.

"There were loads of times throughout the course of the game that we played some really good stuff and should have killed the game off.

"We've spoken about it and hopefully we can get the right result away to Hearts.

"I'd be worried if we weren't creating chances but we certainly need to make sure we defend corner kicks better, and that's what we've been working on this week with a view to this game at Tynecastle."

Source: PA

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