Hearts v Zurich: Robbie Neilson provides Craig Halkett update as duo give injury boost

Hearts will be without Craig Halkett for the Europa League play-off clash with FC Zurich on Friday night but will welcome back Craig Gordon and Stephen Kingsley.

Halkett ended the evening on crutches last Thursday after limping out the 2-1 loss early in the game.

He, along with Gordon and Kingsley, were all missing from the squad which lost 2-0 to Celtic in the Premiership on Sunday as Robbie Neilson rested players head of the Tynecastle Park clash which would see Hearts reach the Europa League group stages with a two-goal victory.

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Gordon and Kingsley are both expected to start, while Halkett will be missing for a slightly longer period.

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"The only ones [out] at the moment are Halkett and [Beni] Baningime,” he said.

"Probably another week, I think, or ten days which is disappointing but we've got players who can come in so it is not a big issue.”

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Meanwhile, Zurich boss Franco Foda has revealed he has been made aware of the Tynecastle atmosphere by former Hearts defender Jose Goncalves, who now works for the Swiss champions. The former Austria national team boss also outlined his plan for the game.

He said: “Jose has told us about the atmosphere at Tynecastle, so we’ll have to prepare for that, but this is exactly what we love about football and what everybody likes when the stadium is full of enthusiasm and atmosphere is good, so we’re looking forward to playing there.

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Hearts boss Robbie Neilson ahead of the Europa League play-off with Zurich. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

“We have a lot of fast players and hopefully we can create some chances through counter attacks."

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