Preview : Hearts (h)

Last updated : 06 January 2009 By Firparkcorner

Hearts have been playing reasonably well this season but, as predicted at the start, their lack of goals is costing them. They dominated the Edinburgh derby at the weekend but couldn't get the win and with the European race looking tight, they will be desperate to defeat us.

Craigan clears

Nade is the lone striker of choice despite scoring just once this season so that shows just how bad the other forwards have been. Calum Elliot has been finding the net for Livingston but is now back at Tynecastle following his loan spell - he won't haunt us, surely?

The main danger is likely to come from the midfield with the exceptional Driver providing the main threat. Kingston is not to be treated lightly either although with some fortune an injury picked up in the derby might rule him out, especially as they have another huge tie coming up next Saturday.

We on the other hand should be able to give everything knowing that our own cup tie is a game our squad players should be able to handle even in the unlikely event of the weather relenting enough for it to go ahead. McLean is still out but Fitzpatrick might be healthy once more and it would not be hard to imagine him returning for Lasley with O'Brien resuming on the right. O'Brien has played fairly well since finally being given a starting chance but his crossing is abysmal and he will know he needs to improve quickly to keep his spot.

The defence and attack have been visibly improved by the return of Craigan and Clarkson but there is still plenty of work to be done. We might rue not taking the three points from this clash but a draw will not be the end of the world and we will probably be quite happy to finish with 1-1.

Remember the last time Hearts were at Fir Park?