Heart of Midlothian 1-1 Dundee United
Friday 12th July 2019, KO 19:45 | Betfred Cup | Tynecastle Park
Jamie Walker could make his second debut for the Jambos on Friday night if he can overcome the tight thigh muscle that ruled him out of training earlier this week.
However, there will be no debut for Aidy White who Craig Levein does not want to risk just yet. The left-back played, and impressed, during the first 45 minutes of last Saturday's game against Glenavon. Steven MacLean is also unavailable through suspension.
Another who will miss out is Peter Haring, as the Jambos medical team try and get to the bottom of his ongoing pelvic problem. Uche Ikpeazu is not fully fit but is expected to play some role against United, whilst Aidan Keena made his return from a knee injury during Monday night's friendly against Inverness.
Callumn Morrison, Olly Lee, and Ben Garuccio (all knee) continue to miss out.
In Dundee United team news, new signing and former Jambo, Adam King could make his debut after agreeing a three-year deal on Thursday morning.
However, another former Tynecastle man, Osman Sow, is a doubt with a small calf problem. The only definite player to miss out is Peter Pawlett, who has not trained so far in pre-season.
Adrian Sporle, Calum Butcher and Ryan Harkes are all expected to take part despite recent knocks.
Robbie Neilson has also admitted he could give game time to some younger players who have impressed him in the close season, with Scott Banks, Louis Appere, Logan Chalmers and Chris Mochrie all potentially involved in the Betfred Cup opener.
Pre-season fixtures are all about fitness rather than results, but we'll tell you anyway.
Hearts have played four fixtures in nine days - Arbroath, Shelbourne, Glenavon and Inverness. Despite defeats to the Smokies and the Lurgan Blues, they put seven goals past Shels and were unlucky to draw against the Caley Jags in the Angus Beith Benefit Match.
Anthony McDonald put the Jambos ahead early on but the hosts then squandered numerous chances to stretch the lead. A Mitch Curry leveller in the 77th minute sealed the draw for the visitors on a night when over 1800 turned out to support former Hearts and Caley youngster Angus Beith, who you can read about here.
Dundee United haven't travelled too far for their pre-season friendlies, facing East Fife, Brechin and Dumbarton. They drew 1-1 with the Fifers before putting six past Brechin at Glebe Park, but then lost 3-2 to Dumbarton despite new signing Lawrence Shankland getting on the scoresheet.
Hearts haven't faced Dundee United in three years, with the last meeting coming in February 2016. That was a 2-1 loss for the Jambos at Tannadice, thanks to an 88th-minute Paul Paton screamer. Who scored Hearts goal that day? Jamie Walker.
The last game at Tynecastle was a 3-2 win for Hearts, who were then managed by now-United gaffer Robbie Neilson. Billy Mckay put the Tangerines ahead from the penalty spot after two minutes, only for Gavin Reilly, Prince Buaben and an Osman Sow penalty to put the Jambos in a commanding position. Scott Fraser got one back before half-time, but there were no second-half goals.
What Craig Said:
“Peter is still suffering from this pelvic problem. He’s away down south tomorrow to get another investigation and we’ll get the results of that towards the end of the week.
“I’m hopeful that we’ll get to the bottom of it. That’s basically the problem; finding out exactly what we need to fix. Once we’ve got that then we can get on with it.
"Andy Irving, I think, would be more likely to play in those kind of deeper roles that Arnaud and Peter play in. Andy’s in contention (for Friday). He did well towards the end of last season and also he’s done reasonably well in pre-season.
“At this minute in time I’m not in a rush to bring another player in. I want to give some time to Harry Cochrane and Andy and also in the forward positions, if people are now up to speed then Anthony McDonald and Dario Zanatta can be involved as well."
You can watch all of Craig's press conference on HeartsTV by clicking here.
What Jamie Said:
"I want to come back and hit the ground running. I want to add to the goals that I scored here last time. Hopefully I can get to 50 goals for Hearts this season, that's my aim.
"I'm feeling fit. I hadn't trained or played for a long period of time due to my knee injury and not being involved when I was down in Wigan.
"It's just little niggles that I'm trying to get rid of. I was going to play in the friendly in Ireland but the gaffer didn't want to push me. I'm feeling fit, I'm going to train today and hopefully I can be involved on Friday."
You can watch Jamie's full press conference on HeartsTV by clicking here.