Hearts manager Craig Levein has admitted that he doesn’t expect Aberdeen to be weakened by playing in the Europa League on Thursday night when the sides face on Sunday – and is confident his own team are as well prepared as they can be for the Pittodrie clash.

Derek McInnes’ side thumped Georgians Chikhura last night to book their place in the third qualifying round but Levein believes that their previous experience will help them through.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 13: Craig Levein, Manager of Hearts looks on prior to the Scottish Cup Semi Final match between Heart of Midlothian and Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Hampden Park on April 13, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Levein’s side haven’t been in great form in the Betfred Cup games despite qualifying top of their group and a win over the Dons would be a great start to their campaign.

“We’ve prepared for the Aberdeen game as well as we can,” Levein said, as quoted by Football Scotland.

“We’ll see if we can go up there and get three points. That is the gameplan.

“Once you’ve done it (played in Europe) as many times as Aberdeen have recently then you’ll know what you’re facing and what to expect. Derek will know whether he needs to change some players to freshen things up because he’s been very successful in that regard.

“I don’t expect Aberdeen to be in any way weakened by their European exploits.”

McInnes may have to rotate his side a little to make sure they are at their best and the Jambos are in for a tough afternoon in the Granite City.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 25: Craig Levein the head coach / manager of Hearts during the William Hill Scottish Cup final between Heart of Midlothian and Celtic at Hampden Park on May 25, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

A 5-0 European win will do wonders for Aberdeen’s confidence while scraping by Stenhousemuir and losing on penalties to East Fife won’t exactly have the Hearts players buzzing.

That can all be brushed aside though if the Jam Tarts pick up three points at Pittodrie and get their league campaign off to a fantastic start.

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