First Team

Heart of Midlothian 2-1 Partick Thistle

Tuesday 12th March 2019, KO 19:45 | William Hill Scottish Cup | Tynecastle Park

Match Preview

Team News

Sean Clare should overcome a hip complaint and Aidan Keena might return to the squad after a small stomach complaint ruled him out on Saturday.

Harry Cochrane, Conor Shaughnessy and Jamie Brandon all played the full 90 minutes in yesterday's reserve match against Celtic, meaning they are highly unlikely to feature tonight.

The only two who are certain to miss out are Michael Smith (thigh) and Demetri Mitchell (knee).

Gary Caldwell almost has a full squad available to him. Miles Storey and club captain Stuart Bannigan have returned to full fitness, giving the medical team at Firhill a much needed break.

However, he is still missing long-term absentee Thomas O'Ware. 

Form

Hearts got back to winning ways at the weekend, beating Dundee 1-0 thanks to a goal from Sean Clare.

It was the first win for the Jambos since the Scottish Cup Fifth Round win over Auchinleck Talbot.

Meanwhile, Thistle recorded a hugely important win against Dundee United at the weekend.

Aidan Fitzpatrick's 90th-minute winner beat 2nd-placed United to lift the Jags off the bottom of the table.

Head-to-Head

Partick proved hard to break down in last week's match that ended in a 1-1 draw, ultimately resulting in tonight's replay.

This is the 253rd meeting of the two sides, with Hearts running out victors on 107 previous occasions.

Last season the sides met three times, with two games finishing as 1-1 draws. However, when the sides met just before the split, Hearts won 3-0 with goals from Kyle Lafferty, Steven Naismith and John Souttar.

What Craig Said:

"I don’t think we’ll need an extra incentive (to progress). The players know what’s at stake. They’ll be keyed up and keen to make up for the draw last week, in a game that we dominated and should’ve won.

"We know what we’re facing. Some of the players hadn’t played against Partick before, but they have now. They know what they’re facing so there will be no surprises.

"I thought Gary Caldwell had his team well organised last week, although we had opportunities to score, and I’m sure they’ll try and hit us on the break.

"We need to be wary of that, we need to be patient when we’re in possession and if we take our chances when they come along then it would certainly make it much easier than it was last week.”

You can watch all of Craig's press conference on HeartsTV by clicking here.

What Ben Said:

"Tonight is a huge game. Hopefully the fans can recognise that as well and come out in numbers because it’s important for us. We're back here playing at home and that’s always a massive positive for us. To have the fans behind us would mean everything.

"I think Partick Thistle showed that they’re not going to back down, which is normal in a cup tie. No team is going to let you just go there and dominate the game and not going to fight.

"We’ve got to be ready for a fight every time we play. No matter who the opposition is. It’s important that we’re doing everything right and playing the way we want to play to ensure that we get the right result.

You can watch all of Ben's press conference on HeartsTV by clicking here.