Hearts have received a major boost ahead of the visit of Rangers for Saturday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final, with manager, Daniel Stendel, declaring Liam Boyce available for selection, as quoted by the Edinburgh Evening News.
The 28-year-old striker made a big impact at Tynecastle after signing from EFL League One side Burton Albion during the January transfer window.
Just a day after arriving, he registered an assist and scored a late winner as the Jambos defeated Rangers in what was a damaging title blow for the Gers.
Then, just a few days later, he completed the same double of an assist and a strike in a 3-3 draw with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.
The goals may have dried up somewhat since then, but he’s the focal point of the Hearts side and there had been fears in Edinburgh that he’d miss this Scottish Cup tie with a combination of back problems and tonsilitis.
However, it seems he’ll be leading the line come kick-off at 1730.
“Last week Liam could not play but he is back and was good in training,” said Daniel Stendel, as quoted by the Edinburgh Evening News.
“He was ill last week and had problems with his back but he looked good in training. I think he is fit to play. Aidy White is also back in training.”
Boyce caused serious headaches for the Gers defence last time out and will be the main dangerman for Hearts on Saturday evening.
However, you would expect that Rangers will have done their homework and will learn from previous mistakes in what is a must-win tie.
Nikola Katic partnered Connor Goldson that day, but after his outstanding Europa League display in Braga in midweek, George Edmundson is likely to start this time around and will attempt to dominate Boyce both in the air and on the ground.
There shouldn’t be anything to fear for Rangers going into this one, given that Hearts have won just one of their five outings since that January meeting.
Given that Steven Gerrard’s side have just defeated Portugal’s form club side twice in the space of a week, a trip to the club currently bottom of the Scottish Premiership shouldn’t be a problem…should it?