The Livi Lions are back at Tynecastle, as the Jambos look to build on their impressive league form. heartsfc.co.uk looks ahead to Matchday 31 in the cinch Premiership.
The tale of the tape...
Robbie Neilson's men square off against Livi at Tynecastle following a sparkling 4-2 Scottish Cup Quarter Final win over St. Mirren last weekend.
The Jam Tarts controlled the game in style with yet another memorable performance. Beni Baningime, Peter Haring, Aaron McEneff and Ellis Simms did the damage as Hearts ran riot in Gorgie.
It means that the JTs are now unbeaten in all competitions for four games. Should Hearts win at the weekend, and depending on results elsewhere, the boys in maroon could move sixteen points clear in third.
What more can you say about the West Lothian outfit? A top six finish and an appearance at Hampden last season – Martindale has taken them to heights not seen at the Tony Macaroni Arena for years, and they’re not done yet.
With just a point between fourth and ninth in the league: top six spots are up for grabs in what could yet be one of the tightest scenarios seen before the split. There’s plenty to play for, and Livi’s players have once again excelled – establishing themselves as a genuine force in the Scottish top flight.
Livi come to the capital without talismanic forward Bruce Anderson, who has shined for the Lions this season since his summer transfer from Aberdeen. Key threats such as Alan Forrest and Joel Nouble will be looking to pick up where Anderson left off.
After being sent out of the Scottish Cup by Hearts, Livi assembled a good run of results - including a 4-0 thrashing of Dundee at Dens, and a memorable win over Dundee United in West Lothian.
Their last match saw them slip to defeat against Celtic.
Last time at Tynecastle...
Craig Gordon was the hero as Hearts fought past Livi in a Scottish Cup shoot-out.
What's Robbie said?
“We should have a few back from injury which will make a big difference for our bench,” the manager told the media at press.
“We’re obviously looking at the timescale, but we need to keep our eye on the ball and make sure we have the players ready for Saturday.
“Look, when you play for Hearts – you have to win every week. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing an Edinburgh derby in a week, two weeks or six weeks: the focus has always got to be on the next game.
“The players are desperate to be successful, and we want to get through to the final - but we have to focus on beating beat Livingston first.
“I expect a very hard game. We got past them in the cup after 90 minutes and penalties, so we know the scale of the test. They’re very organised, a real threat up front and have a number of players we have to be aware of.
“They know the players they like to recruit, and they recruit well. It’s no surprise to see them doing well and pushing for top six again.”
This is our story...
Total Meetings: 43
First Meeting: Monday 24 February, 1975, Heart of Midlothian 3-0 Meadowbank Thistle
Biggest Win: Heart of Midlothian 8-0 Meadowbank Thistle, Saturday 7 August 1976
Join us at Tynecastle...
We'd love to have you with us in Gorgie, as the boys continue their push for third and European football. There's still time to snap up a ticket for Tynecastle.