Hearts have announced English League One club Sunderland – managed by former Tynecastle player Lee Johnson – as pre-season friendly opponents this Saturday.

The Tynecastle side won their Premier Sports Cup group stage opener against Peterhead at the weekend and face Cove Rangers on Tuesday night. Sunderland will then make the trip to Edinburgh as part of their pre-season preparations.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi Final 2nd Leg

Sunderland are heading north. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Robbie Neilson’s team have a free weekend after the Cove match, with Stirling Albion and Inverness Caledonian Thistle closing out their Premier Sports Cup group stage schedule. Hearts kick off their cinch Premiership campaign against Celtic later this month and will face new captain Craig Gordon’s former side Sunderland for fitness.

Gordon joined Sunderland in 2007 from Hearts in a deal that broke the British transfer record for a goalkeeper at the time. A statement reads: “Hearts will ramp up preparations for their return to the cinch Premiership by hosting Sunderland on Saturday.

“Former Jambo Lee Johnson brings his squad north to face Robbie Neilson’s side in a pre-season friendly match at Tynecastle Park, with a 3pm kick off. The club can confirm that up to 2,000 home season ticket holders can be accommodated for this match. Ticket details will be announced tomorrow.”

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