First Team

East Fife 1-1 Heart of Midlothian

Saturday 27th July 2019, KO 15:00 | Betfred Cup | Bayview

Match Preview

Team News

Hearts will be without the services of Conor Washington, who took a nasty blow to the eye on Wednesday night against Stenhousemuir.

However, Christophe Berra and Harry Cochrane should return after being rested and Aidy White could feature after he was named on the bench during the week.

The Jambos remain without long-term absentees Peter Haring (pelvic), Callumn Morrison, Olly Lee and Ben Garuccio (all knee).

Kyle Bell continues to miss out through injury for the Fifers. 

Recent Form

This match really is a winner-takes-all (unless it's a draw, in which case Hearts still take it). 

The Jambos need to pick up just a point to ensure safe passage to the Last 16 of the Betfred Cup. However, they will be looking to win by as large a margin as possible if they wish to secure a seeded spot in the draw for the next round, as they need to score as many goals as Livingston (assuming the Lions beat new-Lowland League side Berwick Rangers).

So far, the tale of the tape reads two wins and a draw for the Jambos who secured a 2-1 win over Stenhousemuir after falling behind. Marc McGuigan poked the Warriors ahead, but a Craig Halkett double on his Tynecastle debut made sure the three points stayed in Gorgie.

Meanwhile, the Fifers are on a high after their surprise 2-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice.

Aaron Dunsmore and Liam Watt were on target for the visitors, who achieved their first win over United since September 1946.

Head-to-Head

The last time the two sides met was only two years ago, also in the League Cup Group stage.

The game - held at Tynecastle despite the disappearance of the Main Stand - was witness to monsoon-like conditions as the hosts ran out 3-0 victors.

Kyle Lafferty scored a double, one from the penalty spot, which sandwiched by a Christophe Berra header.

The game also saw the competitive debut of Bulgarian defender Alex Petkov, who celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday!

(Image - SNS: Christophe Berra celebrates putting the Jambos 2-0 up.)

What Craig Said

 

"I think this'll be a difficult game tomorrow. The pitch will be dry, it's astroturf. The ball moves slowly on dry astro-turf. 

"Generally, the favourites in a game are favourites because they have better technique and the ability to move the ball around the quicker, to expose the opposition.

"The fact that the pitch is dry means we won't have as much of an advantage as you would normally have. That'll make it awkward.

"We were there last season, when we played Raith Rovers at Bayview, so we're well aware of the circumstances of the pitch and the environment."

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