Hearts return to League Cup action tonight to take on Cowdenbeath.

Craig Levein’s side endured a disappointing start to their campaign, drawing 1-1 with Dundee United at Tynecastle. They did claim the bonus point though which places them in second behind table toppers Cowdenbeath.

A must win game for Hearts and a strong starting XI will be needed (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

They’ll need a win at Central Park to go above them in Group A and Levein will likely make plenty of changes from his first competitive Hearts XI of the 2018/19 season.

Here’s our predictions for who’ll start for the Jambos.

The starting XI

In goals will be Zdenek Zlamal, although it won’t be a surprise if Colin Doyle is fielded to provide the Irishman with minutes.

Doyle could be handed an opportunity. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

At the back will be Michael Smith, with a centre-back paring of John Souttar and potential debutant Craig Halkett. At left-back will be Bobby Burns, with the Jambos perhaps looking to give youngster Aaron Hickey a rest.

We think it’ll be a midfield three of Sean Clare, Ryan Edwards and Harry Cochrane. With Andy Irving suspended and Peter Haring out with injury, Hearts don’t have a lot of defensive midfield options. A three should keep things ticking in the middle.

That leaves an attacking trio of Jamie Walker and Dario Zanatta on either side of Steven MacLean. Whilst they’ll have a specific position on the teamsheet, the three of them will likely roam the attacking third in free roles.

MacLean may start. (photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Overall there are six changes from the United game for Levein in a 4-3-3 formation. This team should be enough to dispatch of their League Two opponents. Here’s our starting XI in list form.

GK- Zdenek Zlamal

RB- Michael Smith

CB- John Souttar

CB- Craig Halkett

LB- Bobby Burns

CM- Ryan Edwards

CM- Sean Clare

CM- Harry Cochrane

RF- Jamie Walker

ST- Steven MacLean

LF- Dario Zanatta

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