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Preview: Hearts vs. Livingston - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish Premiership clash between Hearts and Livingston, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hearts will look to extend their unbeaten start in the league on Saturday when they welcome Livingston to Tynecastle Park as they continue to put pressure on Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

However, the visitors shall be looking for a response after being knocked out of the Scottish League Cup in midweek.

Match preview

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson pictured on October 31, 2020© Reuters

Hearts have made a strong start to the season, as they are currently one of only two teams to have not lost a game yet in the Scottish Premiership, which has helped them climb to third place in the table.

Although their six matches have been split into a trio of draws and wins, their resilience in ensuring they do not get beaten is something that has served them well to this point.

While they were knocked out of the Scottish League Cup in the second round by Celtic, that remains the only negative so far for Robbie Neilson, who could see his team go top of the league this weekend if other results go in their favour.

Even though Hearts have not lost a game yet in the league, they do head into this particular fixture on the back of consecutive draws with Hibernian and Ross County.

Despite taking a lead in the ninth minute of the game against the Staggies through Liam Boyce, that was cancelled out just two minutes later, and Hearts had to then fight from behind to rescue a point as Stephen Kingsley drew them level.

Livingston manager David Martindale pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Considering the fact that the Jambos were only promoted back to the top flight last season, they have made a remarkable start to life in the Scottish Premiership, which they will want to continue on Saturday.

The visitors have not been as strong in the league as Hearts, having only managed one victory in their opening six encounters, and after being dumped out of the Scottish League Cup in midweek, there is a need for a response.

Rangers managed to defeat Livingston 2-0 in a dominant performance, but the Lions will be attempting to channel the same type of efforts that they put out in their last league game.

Despite having only 20% of the possession, David Martindale's men were able to defeat Celtic 1-0 thanks to a goal from Andrew Shinnie, and they shall be hoping for a repeat result this time out.

That match actually saw the Lions earn consecutive clean sheets after a goalless draw against Dundee in their previous match, which showcased the defensive qualities that the team does have.

Hearts Scottish Premiership form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D

Hearts form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D

Livingston Scottish Premiership form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Livingston form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Team News

Livingston manager David Martindale pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Josh Ginnelly and Michael Smith will both be able to return to the starting lineup for Hearts this weekend after recovering from their injuries, which will be a welcome boost for Neilson.

Meanwhile Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn should also be fit enough to play, despite the fact he was brought off against Ross County with a calf problem, as that was done as a precautionary measure.

Cameron Devlin also impressed during the 2-2 draw as he made his debut for the club off the bench, and he could once again be an option this weekend.

Alan Forrest was used as a substitute in midweek and the experienced forward could be given the chance to start this weekend, especially since Livingston did not record any shots on target against Rangers.

Martindale handed a debut to Stephane Omeonga for the cup game, while Cristian Montano was brought back into the team, and both men might be options once again this Saturday.

Hearts possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Smith, Halkett, Souttar; Kingsley, Ginnelly, Woodburn, McKay, Mackay-Steven; Gnanduillet, Boyce

Livingston possible starting lineup:
Stryjek; Penrice, Fitzwater, Obileye, Devlin; Bailey, Omeonga, Holt, Lewis, Anderson; Forrest

SM words green background

We say: Hearts 2-0 Livingston

Hearts have been impressive this season, especially in an attacking sense, which could see them cause some major problems for the Lions in this game.

Liam Boyce will be a threat up front for his team and shall be attempting to heap more problems onto Livingston, likely being too much to handle.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Ianis Hagi of Rangers pictured in August 2020
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