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Craig Levein <-auth None auth-> Mike McCurry
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1 of 006 Dennis Wyness 41 ;Dennis Wyness 78 L SPL H

Kirk poised to face Partick

HEARTS are set to welcome back striker Andy Kirk for Saturday’s SPL clash with Partick Thistle.

The Northern Ireland internationalist missed the weekend defeat to Celtic with a calf injury which he picked up a week earlier in the Scottish Cup victory over Berwick Rangers.

The 24-year-old is the Jambos’ joint top scorer this season with nine goals and his return to the squad will hand head coach Craig Levein a welcome selection dilemma as the league’s basement club visit Tynecastle. Dennis Wyness started against the Hoops but Levein could well decide to reform Kirk’s productive partnership with Mark de Vries.

He said: "Andy trained yesterday so I would imagine he will be okay for the weekend. Dennis started against Celtic and did quite well and he also scored in his last game for the under-21s so I’ve got a couple of options.

"They are different types of players and Andy obviously brings that natural goal threat so it’s good to have the choice going into the weekend."

Levein was heartened by the way his players battled against the league leaders at the weekend but knows they will face an altogether different task against the side which is propping up the table.

Thistle are fighting for their top-flight survival but the Gorgie chief believes they are unlikely to come to the Capital intent on all-out attack.

That will force his players to take the initiative in the game and he admits he’d be happy with a similar performance to the one which saw his players triumph 4-1 on the last meeting between the teams at Firhill - a game which incidentally saw Kirk net twice on his first start of the season.

He continued: "Thistle are fighting for their lives. I think it’ll be a much different test to the one which Celtic gave us. I would imagine Partick will be a little less adventurous than they were at home so we’ll have to make the running. We’ll need to be professional and do our jobs correctly."

Taken from the Scotsman

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