Hearts will host St Johnstone this weekend as Daniel Stendel looks for victory in his first Jambos match.

The German was appointed as boss last week and will be in the Gorgie dugout against Tommy Wright’s side. Both teams are joint-bottom heading into the crucial fixture.

Hearts face St Johnstone this weekend. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

A win for either side will have the other in the relegation zone, potentially bottom if St Mirren get a result against Livingston. A draw could see both outfits drop into the dreaded 11th and 12th spots.

Here’s who we think will start for either side/

Hearts’ starting XI

We think Stendel will keep Joel Pereira in goals. There won’t be much change across the backline as a whole, with Michael Smith taking up right-back, Christophe Berra and Craig Halkett at centre-back and Jamie Brandon keeping his left-back berth.

Berra will captain Stendel’s first Hearts game. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Where we believe will be change is midfield. Stendel liked to play 4-3-2-1 at Barnsley, so that will likely stay the same, but some of the personnel that is used may vary from the 1-0 defeat to Motherwell.

Oliver Bozanic will come in alongside Glenn Whelan with Andy Irving pushed a bit further forward in the engine room. Jamie Walker will be on the right and Ryotaro Meshino will keep to the left.

Aidan Keena could also be in line for a shock start. Stendel’s gegenpressing will likely be in some sort of effect and one of Keena’s main traits is his ability to hassle the backline. If he comes in, that’ll be three changes from the side that lost at Fir Park.

Hearts XI: Pereira; Smith, Halkett, Berra, Brandon; Walker, Whelan, Bozanic, Irving, Meshino; Keena

St Johnstone’s starting XI

Zander Clark will take up his normal position between the sticks. Anthony Ralston will go to right-back with captain Jason Kerr, Liam Gordon and Callum Booth making up the backline.

Clark will aim to halt Hearts. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In midfield we think Alistair McCann will partner a returning Murray Davidson alongside former Jambo Jason Holt in the Saints midfield. That’ll leave right and left midfield slots open for David Wotherspoon and Michael O’Halloran.

Up front will be Stevie May, as he returns to the fold to try and match up what physicality Hearts’ backline bring to the game. Overall, there are three changes from the team that earned a decent 0-0 draw away to Kilmarnock.

St Johnstone XI: Clark; Ralston, Kerr, Wallace, Booth; Wotherspoon, Davidson, McCann, Holt; May

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