Sport Hearts dig deep to see off Kilmarnock

23:11  12 august  2017
23:11  12 august  2017 Source:   Press Association

Team news: Kilmarnock vs Celtic

  Team news: Kilmarnock vs Celtic Brendan Rodgers’ side will look to keep their unbeaten start to the season going as they travel to Rugby Park to face Kilmarnock on Saturday. The Hoops all but secured their place in the Champions League group stages with a 5-0 win over Astana in midweek, and will look to keep their 51 game unbeaten domestic run going. Lee McCulloch’s side lost 1-0 last time out in the league against Hearts, and will look to make amends for their 5-0 hammering at Celtic Park in the League Cup just over a week ago. Celtic Many of those who played in midweek will likely be rested ahead of the second leg, and could look similar to the side that face Killie in the League Cup last week. Tom Rogic was forced off in midweek with a head injury but the injury isn’t thought to be serious. Eboue Kouassi picked up ankle injury last week in the League Cup and will miss at least two months of action after he underwent surgery on Thursday. Jonny Hayes was ill earlier this week and will be assessed ahead of the game. Cristian Gamboa has recovered from a groin injury he suffered on international duty and has returned to training with the first-team. Moussa Dembele are Dedryck Boyata are both out until September with a hamstring and knee injury respectively. Erik Sviatchenko remains out with a knee injury after he went off injured in the second leg win over Rosenborg. Kilmarnock Kirk Broadfoot is suspended after receiving a red card last week against Hearts.

Hearts racked up their first points of the season thanks to an Esmeal Goncalves cracker at Rugby Park - only for the Portuguese striker to see red… Hearts almost doubled their lead immediately after, courtesy of more shambolic play at the back from Kilmarnock .

Hearts racked up their first points of the season thanks to an Esmeal Goncalves cracker at Rugby Park - only for the Portuguese striker to see red… Hearts almost doubled their lead immediately after, courtesy of more shambolic play at the back from Kilmarnock .

Celtic v Heart of Midlothian - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Celtic Park © PA WIRE Celtic v Heart of Midlothian - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Celtic Park

Hearts racked up their first points of the season thanks to an Esmeal Goncalves cracker at Rugby Park – only for the Portuguese striker to see red in the second half as both teams finished with ten men.

Goncalves buried the match-winner from 20 yards before he was ordered off after a tussle with Killie centre-back Kirk Broadfoot, who also saw red in what was afternoon to forget for the former Rangers man.

Hearts interim manager Jon Daly welcomed highly-rated young defender John Soutar back to the fold, making his first league appearance since rupturing his Achilies tendon in January.

Team news: Celtic v Kilmarnock

  Team news: Celtic v Kilmarnock Celtic will look to book their place in the last eight of the League Cup when they welcome Kilmarnock to Celtic Park. The Hoops will already have one eye on next weeks’ crucial Champions League clash with Astana and Brendan Rodgers will be looking to avoid any further injuries to first-team players. Lee McCulloch’s side lost 2-1 to St Johnstone on the opening day of the season, and lot on all three occasions last season against Tuesday night’s last-16 opponents. The home side opened their domestic campaign with a comfortable 4-1 win over Hearts and will be strong favourites to progress as they attempt to retain their League cup trophy. Celtic Scott Brown is suspended for the game as he serves a ban carried over from last season. Erik Sviatchenko will miss around six weeks of action after he went off injured in midweek with a knee injury. Cristian Gamboa has recovered from a groin injury he suffered on international duty and has returned to training with the first-team. Moussa Dembele is out until September with a hamstring injury, while Dedryck Boyata remains out with a knee injury. Kilmarnock The away side have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game.

Kilmarnock sent a few wayward shots goal-ward but Hearts ' Brazilian defender Igor Rossi came closer when his looping header bounced off the crossbar. Digging deep into their reserves of spirit and character was what was required of Killie in order to give 2016 a positive beginning

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Goncalves was also returning to the starting line-up after coming off the bench last weekend to hit a late consolation at Celtic Park, and he took just six minutes to make his mark.

After a cagey first few minutes, Cameroon international Arnaud Djoum found Goncalves through the middle. The towering Portuguese turned Broadfoot with incredible ease, before firing a fierce right-foot shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

The visitors picked Kilmarnock apart on the counter in the 20th minute but Goncalves, racing onto a perfectly weighted Kyle Lafferty through ball, was denied by a last-gasp tackle by Killie keeper Jamie MacDonald.

Frustrations grew among the home support – who saw their side lose against St Johnstone in the last minute last weekend – with Soutar and fellow Hearts centre-back Christophe Berra consistently untroubled Kilmarnock's hopeful punts from the back.

Fan power wins as Roberts is set for Celtic return on loan

  Fan power wins as Roberts is set for Celtic return on loan Patrick Roberts looks set to return on loan to Celtic from Manchester City after telling the club hierarchy he wants to return to the club. The winger went on a preseason tour with the club that signed him in 2015, but all his success has come north of the border for the Hoops, winning four trophies and playing in the Champions League. According to Kenny Macintyre of BBC Scotland, the 20-year-old will tell the Premier League side today he wants to return to Glasgow on loan once again, and messages from Celtic fans have played a major role in his decision. Over the last 18 months, Patrick Roberts has made a massive impact at Celtic Park and looks set to return for at least another season, to the delight of many fans. Roberts could even be included in Celtic’s squad to face Astana in the Champions League playoff as a wildcard. Celtic are in League Cup action tonight against Kilmarnock before a trip to Firhill on Friday night. In 60 appearances for the Hoops the youngster has scored 17 goals and provided 21 assists and will add much needed quality to Brendan Rodgers’ squad for the upcoming European campaign.

Cork needed some change of fortune in the second half; instead they lost Aidan Walsh to an ankle injury in the throw-in, and for a while at least it seemed Cork hearts sank a little further. Dublin see off Clare to book spot in minor football semi-finals 16:02.

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This prompted Killie boss Lee McCulloch to mix things up at the break, sending on Jordan Jones for the ineffective Alex Burke.

The hosts showed a marked improvement after the restart, and should have levelled on the hour when Dominic Thomas was denied by an outstanding double-save from Hearts keeper Jack Hamilton.

Hearts almost doubled their lead immediately after, courtesy of more shambolic play at the back from Kilmarnock. This time, Thomas gifted the ball to Goncalves to break down the right, but Lafferty mishit the golden chance from six yards.

The match took a twist in the 67th minute when referee Stephen Finnie sent Broadfoot and Goncalves packing. It seemed fairly innocuous, with the pair clashing on the ground, and both left baffled to see their respective red cards.

Hearts looked most likely to find the net from here, with Lafferty firing wide from distance and MacDonald forced to react quickly to collect an impressive overhead kick from Don Cowie.

Neither side could find the net again, though, and despite some late pressure from the Rugby Park side – who host Celtic next – Hearts held out comfortably to hand Daly a precious three points.

Genoa interested in Lazaar loan .
According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, via HITC, Genoa are interested in signing Newcastle fullback Achraf Lazaar. The left-sided defender looks set to leave the club this summer and it appears as though Genoa could well be his way out of England. The report claims that the Italian outfit are keen on adding him to their squad, although they are only willing to take him on loan to start with. The deal would, however, have a £3.2m clause for Genoa to sign him permanently at the end of the 2017/18 season. This would represent a profit for Newcastle, who signed Lazaar from Palermo for £2.5m last year. This is despite playing only four Championship matches for the club, with no starts to his name. Newcastle’s promotion to the Premier League effectively ruined any chances he had of breaking into the team, with Genoa looking to take advantage of his availability.

Source: http://uk.pressfrom.com/news/sport/-193540-hearts-dig-deep-to-see-off-kilmarnock/

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