Writer: Vital Arabs
Date:Saturday February 19 2011
Sat 19th Feb
Dundee United return to action after having their midweek game against Hamilton Academical postponed as they visit the capital to take on Hearts. The Edinburgh club are currently occupying the Terrors' final placing of third from last season, while their opponents are down in seventh place but with four games to make up on most of their rivals.
"We have exceeded expectations and I suppose we can only throw third place away now but we have got to keep winning," assistant manager Billy Brown told Hearts' official website. "We are delighted with the number of points at this stage of the season and I think we deserve to be where we are. It's not a fluke being this far clear. There is a togetherness at the club just now and that has been a benefit. There is a really happy environment here, you just to have a look at the lads in training to see that. Training is a good place to be and there is a feel good factor around the club."
"Hearts have a big lead and it is going to be very difficult to catch them," Dundee United manager Peter Houston told BBC Scotland. "But our ambition is to still finish third and we won't give up on that until it's beyond us. We still have to play them a few times so who knows what can happen, but at the moment all we're looking towards is Saturday. Going to Tynecastle is difficult at any time but this season with the form they are in it's going to be doubly tricky. It's a great place to play football and our lads always seem to be inspired by it. The one thing I know from being there is that the longer the game goes without a goal the home fans will get restless. So if we can get them like that we'll be doing our jobs well."
Hearts are hopeful that left-back Lee Wallace will overcome bruising to his ankle, but they are missing strikers Kevin Kyle and Calum Elliot.
Hearts (from): Kello, Bouzid, Zaliukas, Stevenson, Palazuelos, Black, Driver, Elliott, Skacel, Glen, Jonsson, Mrowiec, C. Thomson, Wallace, Obua, J. Thomson, Santana, Balogh, Webster
Scored both goals in their recent win at Hamilton Academical.
Manager Peter Houston will give late tests to winger Craig Conway and midfielder Morgaro Gomis after each collected knocks against Celtic last weekend. Defenders Mihael Kovacevic, Darren Dods and Scott Severin are still missing through injury.
Dundee United (from): Pernis, Dillon, Kenneth, Van der Maulen, Watson, Douglas, Swanson, Gomis, Conway, Buaben, Armstrong, S. Robertson, D. Robertson, Conway, Goodwillie, Russell, Banks, Dow, Smith
The Slovakian goalkeeper gives the visitors a very solid and trusty base to work from.
Hearts go into the game on the back of a 2-0 win at Hamilton Academical, which followed a narrow 1-0 defeat at Rangers. Dundee United lost 3-1 at home to Celtic in their most recent fixture.
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Date:Saturday February 19 2011
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