Scout Report | Will there be Murrayfield magic or misery?

Scout Report | Will there be Murrayfield magic or misery?

in #KillieStories November 4, 2017

Our trip to the capital is a little bit different as we head to Murrayfield Stadium to play Hearts.

With Tynecastle not yet fully redeveloped, the game will be Killie’s first trip to the home of Scottish Rugby.

Hearts form initially picked up under new manager Craig Levein with victories over Ross County and St Johnstone early in October.

A derby defeat to Hibernian and a 3-1 loss to Rangers last time out means Levein’s men are aiming to bounce back on Sunday.

Hearts have 88 league wins to Kilmarnock’s 76 with our last league trip to Edinburgh coming in December 27, 2016.

In terms of this season, a goal from Isma Goncalves ensured Hearts, then under interim boss Jon Daly, secured all three points at Rugby Park back in August.

Our last away league win against the Jam Tarts came on Boxing Day 2013 thanks to a double from Kris Boyd as well as goals from Rory McKenzie and Chris Johnston.

After recruiting short-term options during the January window, Hearts made two big statements this summer by securing the services of Scotland defender Christophe Berra and Northern Ireland forward Kyle Lafferty.

Jon McLaughlin has claimed the number one spot from Jack Hamilton while in midfield Ross Callachan became Levein’s first signing, fulfilling a childhood dream by signing for his boyhood club.

Michael Smith and Rafael Grzelak were brought in to play at full back while Ashley Smith-Brown also arrived on loan from Manchester City. Cole Stockton provides an alternative attacking option.

A combination of factors sees Hearts play quite a narrow system with Craig Levein employing a back five against Aberdeen to allow his full-backs to push higher up the field.

Hearts have recorded the lowest number of crosses in the league so far this term.

In attack, Kyle Lafferty likes to drift out to the left to collect cross-field passes from John Souttar while also providing support to Isma in attack.

A diamond midfield formation against Rangers last week was designed to get midfielders to run in support of both Lafferty and Isma.

Craig Levein: "The scoreline on Tuesday wasn’t a reflection of the match – Hibs scored at important moments and Kilmarnock missed some good chances.

"If you look at their previous three matches before that, beating Partick then drawing with Rangers and then Celtic, they put on really good professional defensive displays.

"Added to that they had moments of attacking threat on the counter. They had that on Tuesday as well but just didn’t score despite creating opportunities."

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