Most difficult fixture on the calendar coming up this weekend as we head to Gorgie to take on overwhelming Championship favourites Hearts. Another covid restricted game which kicks off at 15:00 on Saturday afternoon with Hearts one game behind leaders Dunfermline and Raith Rovers, having been at Hampden last weekend knocking Capital rivals Hibs out of the Scottish Cup. Hearts will be streaming the game live and I'm sure it will be superior quality to the "linesmans head" guff that we have been subject to at the Caledonian Stadium. However, many fans will draw the line at the price of the Tynecastle stream. £18.50 is taking the pi55. Have a word with yourself Hearts.
Sad news this week as it was announced that former Hearts player Marius Zaliukas has passed away after battling with Motor Neuron Disease. Lithuanian Marius was the captain when Hearts won the Scottish Cup in 2012 beating Hibs 5-1. Taken too soon at the tender age of just 36. RIP Marius.
The club's met at Tynecastle a few weeks ago in the group stages of the Betfred League Cup. An injury stricken Inverness side went down narrowly to the Jambos. Despite having to field many youngsters, we created a couple of great chances but it was a harsh penalty incident that saw Jamie Walker score from the spot. Hot Toddy missed a late chance to level but Hearts took the points.
The opening game of the Championship season saw Hearts crush Dundee 6-2 with an outstanding performance. They followed that up with an edgy 1-0 win at Gayfield. Last week they dumped Hibs out of the Scottish Cup at Hampden to reach the final, Wighton and Boyce from the spot ending the interest of the Leith club. Keeper Craig Gordon was once again in top form to deny Hibs and will be a difficult man to get the ball past this season.
Daniel Mackay opened his account for the season with this header just after the break against Arbroath.
Other Championship games this weekend
Alloa Ath v Dundee (Friday night)
Arbroath v Queen of the South
Ayr United v Dunfermline Ath
Raith Rvrs v Greenock Morton
***LATEST TEAM NEWS***
Great to have Aaron Doran stretching his legs last week, albeit for only the last five minutes but it's a step in the right direction. Some are still a few weeks away from returning. Strikers Miles Storey and Shane Sutherland are out with hamstring injuries. Defenders Kevin McHattie and Lewis Toshney are out and Daniel Devine has been used sparingly. Midfielders David Carson and James Vincent were missing against Arbroath, Carson seemingly longer term. Sean Welsh and Robbie Deas returned to the starting XI last week and hopefully they showed no reaction to what turned out to be a rather gruelling match in Siberian conditions.
Robbie Neilson has the luxury of a large squad to select from. Josh Ginnelly was outstanding in the League Cup encounter but was injured at Arbroath and missed the cup tie against Hibs. Jordan Roberts came in to replace him, but he is now a doubt. Such is the depth of the Jambos squad they can afford the luxury of Steven Naismith on the bench. And why not when former Dundee striker Craig Wighton is scoring goals. Liam Boyce is back as well so it's a strong Hearts team that will be looking to keep up with the leaders. They have their own injury problems with long term absentees like John Souttar (Ruptured Achilles) and Cristophe Berra (Torn Achilles) to contend with but the depth of talent at Tynecastle will minimise the damage by their absence. Peter Haring is building towards full fitness and Jamie Walker might need a late assessment.
There's plenty to get your teeth into in the Podcasts and they have managed to get some Caley Jags legends to talk to them over the months.
Hear from real life legends like Charlie Christie and his loon Ryan, Greg Tansey, Gary Warren, Barry Wilson, Carl Tremarco, James Keatings, Josh Meekings... The list goes on right down to the marmite of Yogi Bear, The Magic Roundabout a seagull in a carrier bag and even Marge Simpson's mother!