Robbie Neilson namechecks £40m Fiorentina trio threat and plays down Hearts must-not-lose tag

Robbie Neilson has pinpointed three Fiorentina stars Hearts will have to be wary of in the Conference League clash at Tynecastle Park.

The Italians have spent in excess of £300million since the 2017/18 season, amassing 16 internationalists. Despite such investment, last season's seventh place was their highest finish since 2016. They are currently on a run of one win in ten games.

Neilson, however, is wary of the quality which Vincenzo Italiano’s team possess, including forwards Arthur Cabral and Christian Kouame and midfield playmaker Sofyan Amrabat, the trio costing around £40million.

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“Kouame up front has pace, whether he plays or (Arthur) Cabral, two top strikers,” he said.

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“I really like Sofyan (Amrabat) in the middle, top player. There are loads of players within that group that we’ll have to watch.”

Hearts go into Thursday’s match sitting second in Group A behind İstanbul Başakşehir.

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The double header with Fiorentina, who sit 11th in Serie A, will go some way to deciding the team likely to finish as runner-up.

Neilson rejected the idea Thursday's fixture is a must-not-lose match.

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Hearts manager Robbie Neilson looking ahead to facing Fiorentina. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

"No, I don't think so, he said. “We are sitting in a good position with three points already and we still have a number of games left. It's a game we are looking forward to. We would like to take three points but we understand it's going to be a very difficult game.

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“We have the atmosphere at Tynecastle, our home crowd, our home pitch and we need to focus on that first.

"If we can get something out of the game, three points would be fantastic, it would be great to take over to Italy.”

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