Hearts handed tricky but exciting Conference League group - trips to Florence, Istanbul & Riga

Hearts have been handed a tough Conference League draw but one with plenty of intrigue and excitement.

The Tynecastle Park side have been pitted against Fiorentina, İstanbul Başakşehir and Latvia outfit RFS in Group A.

Robbie Neilson's men were unable to overcome FC Zurich in the Europa League play-off, losing 3-1 on aggregate, dropping into the Conference League.

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Their reward is an intriguing group where they will face popular Italian side Fiorentina. La Viola, who finished seventh last season in Serie A, have started with a win and draw to the league season.

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The top seeds are 2020 Turkish league winners Başakşehir who are packed with international talent including German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil, Belgium’s Nacer Chadli and Lucas Biglia of Argentina.

Latvian champions RFS make up the group. They defeated Linfield on penalties to reach the group stage and currently sit third in the Virsliga with 25 games played. Their home tie with Linfield was moved to the 8,000-seater Skonto Stadium in the country’s capital.

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The six matchdays are scheduled for September 8 and 15, October, 6, 13 and 27 and November 3.

Confirmation of when Hearts will play their opponents home and away will be released by Saturday morning at the latest.

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Hearts have discovered their Conference League group opponents. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

Hearts went into the second-leg of the Europa League play-off against Zurich at a packed Tynecastle confident of overturning the 2-1 first-leg loss in St Gallen. Despite a fantastic performance in the first 53 minutes they were hit with a sucker punch when Jorge Grant was shown a second yellow card for simulation and sent off, eventually losing 1-0.

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Zurich were paired with Arsenal, PSV and Bodo/Glimt in their Europa League group.

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