Hearts get huge boost on eve of Zurich clash but both teams are missing key men

Hearts will welcome Craig Gordon and Stephen Kingsley back into the starting line-up for their Europa League play-off against FC Zurich at Tynecastle, but they will be without Craig Halkett as they attempt to book a place in the prestigious group stages.

Goalkeeper and captain Craig Gordon is back for Hearts against Zurich.
Goalkeeper and captain Craig Gordon is back for Hearts against Zurich.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, manager Robbie Neilson has said he will lace his team with attacking players and take the game to their visitors.

Bolstered by vociferous backing from the home support, he believes he has the personnel capable of rewarding the Hearts fans for their support.

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“The only ones out are Halkett and [Beni] Baningime. Halkett will probably be another week-to-ten days, I would think. It's disappointing but we've got players that can come in so it's not a big issue.”

The Swiss champions will have Wilfried Gnonto available despite strong interest from Leeds, but Blerim Dzemaili, who scored last week, is set to miss out through injury.Plotting a famous win, and a place in the Friday’s Europa League draw, alongside a plethora of household names, Neilson insists it would be just reward for the Gorgie faithful.

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“It’s probably the biggest driver for us all at the club, the playing and coaching staff. Of any fans in the world they probably deserve it more than most because they put their hands in their pocket and saved the club. Administration, demotion, coming back up again, top six, European football. Last week was brilliant to see the fans over in Switzerland and hopefully the ones that could not make it enjoy this one. We’ve got another three trips away and three home games and we’ve certainly earned them.”

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