Heart of Midlothian 1-0 Livingston
Sunday 20th January 2019, KO 14:30 | William Hill Scottish Cup | Tynecastle Park
Craig Levein will have a few extra cards to play when Livingston come to Tynecastle in the Scottish Cup fourth round on Sunday.
The additions of David Vanecek and Conor Shaughnessy bolster the ranks alongside John Souttar (hip) who edges towards a return - although Sunday may come too soon for the Scotland international. Uche Ikpeazu (foot) is also on schedule to make a return in the next few weeks.
Peter Haring (hernia) could miss out after finally going under the knife to sort an ongoing hernia issue which he battled through for the majority of the first half of the season.
Craig Wighton is in contention for a return from an ankle knock, alongside Harry Cochrane who has also recovered from an ankle injury picked up before Christmas during a reserve league win over Rangers.
Bobby Burns, Aidan Keena, and Ryan Edwards also return to the squad following their loan spells at Livingston, Dunfermline and St Mirren respectively but Lewis Moore, Andy Irving, and Chris Hamilton are all cup-tied.
Gary Holt has made three signings so far in the January transfer window with former Rangers winger Gregg Wylde joining from Plymouth Argyle, Chris Erskine joining from Partick Thistle, and Ryan Hardie extending his loan deal until the end of the season.
Scott Tiffoney and Cameron Blues have both returned from their loan spells at Greenock Morton and Brechin City respectively.
Lee Miller started their final league game of 2018 against Aberdeen but was replaced before half-time with a reccurence of a knee injury that has kept him out for most of this season.
Hearts went into the winter break full of hope after a run of three wins in five games.
After a hard-fought game against Aberdeen at Pittodrie that ended in a 2-0 win for the hosts, Hearts took on Hamilton on Boxing Day at Tynecastle. Steven Naismith marked his return to full fitness with a goal and Arnaud Djoum added a second before half-time as the game finished 2-0.
Then, three days later, Hearts travelled to Easter Road, looking for their first win at the home of Hibernian since 2014. It was Olly Lee who ensured the Jambos left with all three points, scoring a 28th minute screamer from outside the box, sending a left-footed drive into the top corner.
Meanwhile, Livingston haven’t won since that evening at the Almondvale where they won 5-0 over Hearts.
They battled for a 1-1 draw against Hibs at Easter Road before Christmas before a disappointing goalless draw against Dundee at Dens Park. Then, just before New Year, they faced on-form Aberdeen and lost 2-1 thanks to a scrambled Dean Campbell goal.
Head to Head
Hearts and Livingston have met twice this season, playing out a drab 0-0 draw at Tynecastle in September before a 5-0 win for the Lions at the Almondvale in December.
Livingston have only won twice at Tynecastle in their competitive history, with their last win coming on the final day of the 2001-02 season. The Lions won the game 3-2 thanks to a last-minute penalty from former Hearts player Steve Fulton.
The sides have only met once in the Scottish Cup, back in 2005 when Hearts ran out 2-1 winners in the quarter-finals. Lee Miller opened the scoring in the first minute with Jamie McAllister doubling Hearts’ lead just nine minutes later. Craig Easton got one back for Livi on the hour-mark but they could not find a way back into the tie.
A 20-year-old Christophe Berra started in defence that day, next to Andy Webster, with 17-year-old Lee Wallace also in from the start.
What Craig Said:
"It's going to be tough. We drew 0-0 at Tynecastle earlier in the season, a game we probably should have won, we missed a penalty and some good chances. And then we got our backsides felt a few weeks ago, which was very sore indeed.
"It's something we have to make up for. I don't think motivation will be an issue in this game. I don't know how you would describe it but there has got to be a feeling there. We were disappointing in that match and we need to do better, much better.
"When I look back at the game, so may things happened in such a short period of time that just knocked everybody off their stride. And I think that is forgivable. But we have to make up for it."
What Ben Said:
"We haven’t really spoken about the desire for payback but as a footballer you remember those results. There are games like that where you don’t really know what went wrong. It’s just a night to forget.
"That can happen, but on nights when it does you have to make sure it doesn’t get embarrassing like that. We’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen again. It was embarrassing for us, we want to put things right, and this is the best way to do it in front of our own fans.
"If anything the break maybe came at the wrong time after that Hibs result. You want to keep going, you felt like you could take on the world; you feel king of the world after a result like that. So we just want to continue where we left off."