Hearts have been given a huge Scottish Cup boost ahead of their meeting with Celtic on Saturday.
The Jambos and the Hoops go head-to-head in a massive Scottish Cup final showpiece at Hampden Park this weekend. Craig Levein’s men come into the game having just lost 2-1 at Celtic Park last Sunday.
But one of the main talking points was the fitness levels of Hearts’ three big injury doubts. Arnaud Djoum, Uche Ikpeazu, and Peter Haring were all rested for the trip to Parkhead just two days ago. But now, the Edinburgh Evening News has revealed that the trio trained at their St Andrew’s base today.
Both Ikpeazu and Djoum haven’t played in Hearts’ last two matches. Haring, meanwhile, hasn’t featured since losing to Hibernian at Tynecastle at the start of April.
It means that Hearts don’t have any niggling doubts for the game anymore, assuming all three are good to go. With another four days to prepare for the contest, it’s likely they’ll be ready for cup final day.
Not something we shouldn’t have expected
Levein has been going on for a while about how he was hopeful all three of his doubts would be ready for the cup final (The Scotsman). All three, therefore, will have fully been expected to feature by the Celtic management staff.
Celtic can expect a much-changed Hearts side in the Scottish Cup final this weekend. The likes of Christophe Berra, Ikpeazu, Djoum, and Bobby Burns were all rested on Sunday. You would expect the vast majority of them if not all to return on Saturday.
It’s not exactly a blow for Celtic, however. We’ve been beating Hearts for most of the season with all three of the potential doubts on the pitch. The Hoops have won four and lost one of their five games against the Jambos this season. Hearts’ only win came at Tynecastle back in August courtesy of Kyle Lafferty, who’s no longer at the club.
Hearts have only scored one goal against us from open play this season too. In order for that to remain, however, the Hoops centre-backs have to make sure they deal with Ikpeazu’s physicality.
Hearts fans will be pleased to see their star trio building up their fitness. But for Celtic, it’s just business as usual.