It’s a Scottish Cup dress rehearsal this weekend as Hearts take on Celtic at Parkhead. It’s the final game in what has been a pretty miserable league campaign for Craig Levein’s men, who will be glad to get this campaign behind them.
The game means nothing for the Jambos, but they will be without Arnaud Djoum, Uche Ikpeazu and Peter Haring. More worryingly for them, they could miss next weekend’s Scottish Cup final clash with this weekend’s opponents.
Levein has hinted it’ll be “a younger squad,” suggesting that the starting XI will be one with plenty of youth players.
Predicting the full XI correctly is borderline impossible, but we’ve taken our best stab at who the Jambos will start with on Sunday.
The starting XI
Colin Doyle will likely keep his place in goals as Levein looks to give him some game time. The formation could quite literally be anything if last week’s line-up is anything to go by. I’ll stick my neck out and say it’ll be a 4-4-2 diamond with the youth players I think Levein will use in mind.
Jamie Brandon will likely be at right-back, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Aaron Hickey is given his first start here. Christophe Berra will lead the side at Parkhead, with youngster Alex Petkov his partner in defence. If Petkov plays, it’ll be his first Premiership appearance for the Jambos.
At left-back it is likely to be Bobby Burns, who is pushing for a cup final start. It’s here we move into the four man midfield. Youngsters Harry Cochrane and Connor Smith will start. Ryan Edwards is another fringe player needing minutes, so I think Levein will go with him. Olly Lee is another player I reckon will make a start.
Up front I think Craig Wighton will be given another chance to score a goal this season. Partnering him will be Steven MacLean, who’ll look to help some of the younger players out on the park.
This team selection is a lottery, but I believe this is what Levein will go with. He could opt for more youngsters, but he’s likely to want some experienced heads in the starting XI to prevent a thumping on trophy day.
Here’s the full starting XI in list form.