Hearts will be without the services of first-team regular Taylor Moore tomorrow night in a disappointing pre-Celtic injury blow for them.

Moore has been a consistent performer in Robbie Neilson’s side this season, making 13 appearances for the club since his arrival in August [Transfermarkt]. The Englishman, on-loan from English Championship club Bristol City, has been something of a utility man for the Jambos this term, operating at centre-back, right-back and occasionally in right-midfield.

Neilson has talked up the qualities of Moore in the past, labelling him an “aggressive” player who is “composed” on the ball [Football Scotland]. But it looks as though Hearts will certainly be without his services for tomorrow’s match against Ange Postecoglou’s title-chasers.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

The Hearts boss provided an update via his club’s official website, and has labelled Moore the only injury concern he has.

“All fine. Only one that’s having a wee bit of a problem at the minute is Taylor Moore. He’s got a bit of a thigh problem, although we hope he’ll be back for the Motherwell game.

“Beni Baningime trained the last few days and will be available. We took our time bringing Liam Boyce in and he’s hopefully going to be back for the rest of the season.”

Hearts vs Celtic looking like an absolute cracker tomorrow night

Moore’s absence will be a blow for Hearts. However, they’ll feel they have the personnel to deal with that loss even if they’re generally struggling with numbers.

Looking at the team that mauled Auchinleck Talbot on Saturday, Michael Smith operated at right-back whilst Craig Halkett and Stephen Kingsley performed together at centre-back. With John Souttar expected to return, you would think he would take Kingsley’s spot and partner Halkett at the back.

So Hearts have enough experience for one blow. But when you look at the options they have in their squad as a whole, they really are short on numbers. Neilson only really had 3 senior players fit to play on his bench against Talbot. Baningime, meanwhile, hasn’t played since November.

Heart of Midlothian v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

So any injury concerns during the game tomorrow night and Neilson could have some major squad issues on his hands. Not what he will want coming up against a hungry Celtic side looking for another vital 3 points.

Celtic, of course, have injury problems of our own. Callum McGregor, Kyogo Furuhashi, and Yosuke Ideguchi all look like missing out. Not to mention Tom Rogic and Daizen Maeda are both away with their respective international teams.

It’s going to be a true test of character when we pitch up in Gorgie tomorrow night. Fingers crossed we respond to the challenge in the right way.

In other news, What Ange Postecoglou has told Johnny Kenny as Celtic striker lauds his manager

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