Hearts match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Heart of Midlothian
SPFL Championship
Friday 5th February 2021. Kick-off 7.45pm

Tonight, we welcome Heart of the Midlothian to Somerset Park for live Friday night Championship action. The Honest Men ended a run of seven games without a win last weekend with a convincing victory over Alloa Athletic and Mark Kerr’s side will be looking to maintain their unbeaten home record against the Jam Tarts.

Opposition :
Hearts head to Somerset Park hoping to extend their lead at the top of the Championship to 12 points. Recent weeks have seen the Edinburgh-side record victories over their nearest competitors; a 1-0 win at home to Dunfermline last weekend and a 4-0 midweek victory at
Starks Park, avenging Rovers’ win at Tynecastle three days previously.
The Tynecastle club were typically busy during the January transfer window with Robbie Neilson adding Scotland Internationalist Gary Mackay-Steven, French striker Armand Gnanduillet and Irish midfielder Aaron McEneff.

Team News : Jordan Houston (foot) misses out. Craig Moore has returned to training as he continues his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury. New signing Brett McGavin is available for selection.

Mark says :”Of course we were pleased with the result last week. It was never going to be an easy game but we scored some really good goals and there was a lot of positives we could take from it. Hearts are well clear at the top but if we go back to the game at Tynecastle we did extremely well for a large portion of that game so we know we can compete with them. It’s great being back at Somerset, we are unbeaten here and want to make sure it stays that way.”

League Form :
Ayr United : LDLDW
Hearts : LWLWW

Head to head
Ayr United wins : 27
Draws : 20
Hearts wins : 48

Tonight is the first league meeting between the sides at Somerset Park since December 1982. Ally Love was the scorer in United’s last league win over Hearts, at Tynecastle on 1st April 1980.

Last Meeting :
There were eight goals in the last meeting between the sides, at Tynecastle on Boxing Day. Stephen Kingsley gave Hearts a half-time lead with an 11th minute strike. The Honest Man started the second-half strongly, taking the lead on the hour mark through goals from
Cammy Smith and Luke McCowan. Three goals in six minutes for Hearts, a Criag Wighton double and Olly Lee, however, put the Jambos firmly back in control of the game. Liam Boyce made it five for the home side with 10 minutes remaining, while Tom Walsh scored a
late consolation.

Hearts last visit to Somerset Park was in 2011 and saw the Honest Men progress on their way to the League Cup final. Gareth Wardlew cancelled out Scot Robertson’s goal for Paulo Sergio’s men, with United – then bottom of League 1 – eventually beating their Premier
League opponents after a penalty shoot out.

Match Officials :
Referee – Steven McLean
Assistant Referee 1 – Drew Kirkland
Assistant Referee 2 – Colin Drummond
Fourth Official – Matthew MacDermid

Live Coverage:
Tonight’s match is being broadcast live on the BBC Scotland channel. Coverage starts at 7.30pm.

Alternatively, supporters of both sides can purchase a PPV Pass to watch this game for £12.50 by visiting https://ayrunitedmedia.co.uk/live-streaming . Season ticket holders should use their QR code to log-on to watch the match.

HonestMen Picks:
Download the new HonestMen Picks app on Apple or Android and predict Friday’s match action for a chance to top the live leaderboard and win cash prizes.