Hearts are reportedly set to miss eight players for tomorrow’s visit of Celtic.
Daniel Stendel will take charge of only his second game as the Tynecastle club’s manager. It looks like being a long and difficult night for the German tomorrow as he gets to grips with his new club.
Yet it doesn’t look like he’ll be doing it with anywhere near a full-strength team against Celtic either. Or at least according to the Daily Record anyway.
The Record has today reported that Hearts will be missing seven players through injury and one through suspension. Uche Ikpeazu is the player who’ll miss out due to his yellow-card accumulation.
However, elsewhere, the likes of Steven Naismith, Aidy White, Callumn Morrison, Peter Haring, Ben Garuccio, John Souttar, and Conor Washington are all apparently sidelined.
A heavy injury list for Stendel
That’s quite the list for Stendel to try and combat. The likes of Naismith, Garuccio, Haring, Souttar, Washington, and Ikpeazu could all arguably be labeled as part of Hearts’ strongest XI.
At the weekend during Stendel’s first match in charge against St Johnstone, his team was noticeably depleted. Fringe men such as Oliver Bozanic, Sean Clare, Aidan Keena, and Steven MacLean all had to start.
From a Celtic perspective, it reads as though there won’t be a better time to face Hearts. They’re at their lowest ebb, and the mystique and intrigue around the new manager has faded somewhat after losing his opening match.
Of course, it’s still important to recognise where they’re still strong. The likes of Christophe Berra, Craig Halkett, Aaron Hickey, Glenn Whelan, and Jamie Walker are all available. Sure, they’re not names that would strike fear into you, but they should be reliable enough to be capable of a shift.
However, you just can’t not fancy Celtic strongly. The Record believes that Ryan Christie will be back for the contest, and that would sum up the differing fortunes of both clubs.
Hearts may have won two of our last four trips to Tynecastle. But make no mistake, they’re in nowhere near as good a place as they were during those 4-0 and 1-0 defeats respectively.
Celtic will be up against a severely wounded Jambos side tomorrow night. With a bit of luck, we’re at it from the off and see if they crumble.