Group C decider against Jambos
Inverness and Hearts play at Tynecastle to decide who tops group C in the Betfred League Cup group stages. A draw will do Inverness whilst a win for Hearts will see the Edinburgh side through to the next round. Kick off is 3:00pm on Sunday 29th July.
Inverness top the group at the moment, but Hearts could secure the qualification spot by beating the Caley Jags despite being deducted two points and fined £10,000 after fielding in ineligible player against Cove Rangers. Did the punishment fit the crime? I'm not so sure, a little bizaarre if you ask me. Anyway, we are here now and a visit to Tynecastle it is.
Hearts kick re-ignited their season in fine style with a 5-0 hammering of ten-man Cowdenbeath in midweek as we laboured over a 2-1 win against Raith Rovers. The Jambos were kept out until the second half when the floodgates opened, and coupled with the sending off of Cowdenbeath's Martin Scott after half an hour it was all too much for the Blue Brazil. Goals from Steven Maclean, Uche Ikpeazu, Peter Haring, Steven Naismith and Michael Smith boosted Hearts goal tally and they are now level on goal difference with Inverness at plus six.
Inverness were a little over elaborate against Raith on Tuesday night and it took a late goal from substitute Daniel Mackay to see us take maximum points. Nathan Austin had opened the scoring but Grant Gillespie bludgeoned the ball into the roof of the net to level before Daniel's late intervention.
John Robertson scotched nonsensical talk about his old club as he focuses solely on getting Inverness into the next round. So, all to play for at Tynecastle in a game being shown live on BT Sport if you can't make it to the stadium.
Hearts are still searching for their best eleven at the moment as they gear up for the Premiership. Not sure what to expect from them this early in their preparation, but they still have some experienced quality players on their books like Naismith, Lafferty and Berra. They also have none other than Jake Mulraney who departed for the bright lights. I wonder if Brad might like a tangle with Jake. Arnaud Djoum, Don Cowie and Harry Cochrane are out but making good progress on their injury comebacks. Rangers target Lafferty will face a late fitness test to assess his readiness for action.
I expect Inverness to be along similar lines to the team that started against Raith although Mackay and Calder did well when they were introduced. Angus Beith has not featured since signing from Hearts and is set to miss this one, but Mark Ridgers and Brad Mckay will re-visit their old haunt.
A leap into the unknown for the Caley Jags and difficult to guess the outcome with both sides stepping up a gear with each game played. Suffice to say that we will more than likely qualify for the next stages even if we lose, but a point would confirm our place in the draw. We might have to settle for second best as Hearts begin to peak for the Premiership, a draw would be a great result, a win would be a bonus.