Heart of Midlothian 1-2 Dundee
Wednesday 23rd January 2019, KO 19:45 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Tynecastle Park
John Souttar (hip) could be in the squad after he just missed out on Sunday’s win over Livingston in the Scottish Cup. Craig Levein admitted he was toying with the idea of putting the defender on the bench on Sunday but decided against the risk.
However, Hearts will be without Steven Naismith who is suspended for this evening's clash after picking up six yellow cards.
The game will still come too soon for Uche Ikpeazu (foot) who returns to training after the screw in his foot was removed last week. Peter Haring (hernia) will also miss out as he recovers from a hernia operation.
The Dundee squad has been boosted by the signing of six players, three of whom made their debut last weekend.
Seny Dieng is a 24-year-old Swiss goalkeeper who arrives on loan from QPR, Andy Dales is a winger of the same age who arrives from Scunthorpe United until the end of the season, and Craig Curran has arrived from city rivals Dundee United to re-unite with his manager at former club Ross County.
However, one January signing who definitely won’t play is Andrew Davies. The former Ross County captain broke his foot four days after signing for the Dens Park side and faces ten weeks out injured.
Dundee have also completed the signing of Andreas Hadenius on loan from Halmstad BK until the end of the season. The 27-year-old Swede can play in defence or midfield.
Hearts have built up a good run of form, winning four of their last six games. The winter break seemed to come at a bad time for Craig Levein’s side as they won two on the spin, beating Hamilton and Hibs, before Hogmanay but they shook off that three-week rust with a win over Livingston last Sunday.
It was a battle of attrition at Tynecastle in the Scottish Cup clash but Sean Clare bagged the winner, and his first goal for Hearts, just after half-time.
Meanwhile, Dundee haven’t won in seven games – recording four losses and three draws. Their last three points came against Hamilton at the start of December in a 4-0 thrashing.
However, one of those draws came against Rangers and the other against Livingston – both of which would be considered good results. At the weekend, they found themselves held by Championship side Queen of the South in a 1-1 draw.
Head to Head
The two sides have met 261 times previously with Hearts running out winners on 121 occasions. Their record is even better at Tynecastle, winning 77 of the 128 games.
Dundee haven’t scored at Tynecastle since November 2015 when Rory Loy grabbed the equaliser in a 1-1 draw. You have to look even further back to find their last victory – a 1-0 win in September 2012 thanks to an early Ryan Conroy penalty.
In the last five games against the Dee, Hearts have won three times, drawn once, and lost twice. The last home meeting came in December 2017, when goals from Isma and Christophe Berra gave the Jambos a comfortable 2-0 win.
What Craig Said:
"Confidence is a big thing. It wasn't a fantastic match on Sunday but we won and progressed to the next round of the cup, and that helps players feel good about themselves and when they feel good about themselves they play better.
"I'm looking forward to the game tomorrow night. I don't think it'll be easy in any way but I feel better that we're in better form now.
"I don't know if [John Souttar] will start. I was toying with the idea of putting him on the bench on Saturday but his hamstrings were a bit tight as a consequence of being out for so long.
"Sometimes other things start to feel sore when you've been in full training and that happened to him so I was just a wee bit careful with him on Sunday. I'll see how is today. He'll be in the squad I think, whether he gets on the bench will depend on how he feels."