Hearts manager Robbie Neilson admits he faced some tough decisions when picking his XI to face Celtic this afternoon.

The Jambos are looking to stop Celtic dominance in the competition as they go searching for a fourth consecutive treble. But big calls had to be made by Neilson pre-match.

Celtic v Heart of Midlothian - Scottish Cup Final

Neilson made some big calls pre-game. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With an almost full squad to pick from, Hearts started this one without Josh Ginnelly and Peter Haring, who are two of his key players. Instead, Aidy White was selected on the left-wing.

In Haring’s position of CDM, Andy Halliday was picked, Andy Irving slotting in alongside him. Speaking pre-match, Neilson says these were decisions he didn’t take lightly.


“It’s been a long time coming,” said the Hearts boss of the final (BBC). “We have prepared really well and we had a full squad without John Souttar.

Souttar’s the only one missing for the Gorgie outfit today. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

“It’s much the same as any build-up, it’s only being in the stadium that’s strange. We can only look at ourselves. We’ve got guys that can come and impact the game. It’s been tough. We’ve had to leave a few boys out, but ultimately it’s about the team.

“We spoke to all the boys who weren’t going to start today and just explained to them why we’re doing it. We are going for the single single. We are giving ourselves the best opportunity to win the Scottish Cup.”

Celtic v Heart of Midlothian - Scottish Cup Final

Explaining the switches. (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

At the time of writing, Hearts are currently down 2-0 at Hampden, left with a mountain to climb if they want to claim Scottish Cup glory.

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