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Match Preview

Hearts v Partick Thistle – 5th January 2014

Tomorrow Thistle make the trip across to Scotland’s capital city for a fixture with Hearts the importance of which can’t be underestimated. Indeed a quick scan of the fixtures list reveals that January is going to be a massive month for the Club with, after the trip to Tynecastle, three of the next four games are at Firhill. Results this month could very well shape the rest of the season.
It is good, therefore, that Thistle approach tomorrow’s game with Hearts with no fresh injury worries. Said manager Alan Archibald when speaking to [link:HOME] a little earlier today;

“Everyone came through the Celtic game fine which is good news. That just leaves Isaac Osbourne and Sean Welsh on the injury list. Gary Fraser’s loan has now ended and he has gone back to Bolton. We really don’t know what is going to happen there.”
Alan continued;
“It was good to give Lyle Taylor some game time against Celtic. He had been in and out of the Sheffield United side so it was a more than worthwhile exercise to play him against Celtic. His arrival at the Club gives us competition for places and it also gives us different options. He can play in behind defenders and we could go with two up front if that was route we wanted to go down.”
Alan is no doubt about just how difficult it will be to collect maximum points tomorrow.
“I was at Hearts’ game with Hibs the other night and they have a great team spirit and I think you need to give Gary Locke a lot of credit for that. Tomorrow’s game is an important one for us but it is also a massive game for Hearts. They will see it as an opportunity to claw back some ground and that will make them dangerous opponents. They’ve a lot of qualities aside from their great team spirit and they probably have more players with top flight experience than we do. The good thing from our point of view is that even though we are on a bad run it doesn’t appear to have dented our confidence any. We suffered a bad defeat against Motherwell but yet in the next match the players were still prepared to get on the ball. That was one of the positives that we took from that game and we will be approaching tomorrow’s game with plenty of confidence.”
The recent high winds and torrential rain hasn’t made preparation any easier.
“It’s not been ideal with the weather and trying to find a suitable facility. We’ve been fortunate that we have a good relationship with the Firhill Complex and are grateful that they basically just gave us the keys to open and lock up. The weather though has impacted on what we’ve been able to do and we’ve had to scale the sessions back a bit. It’s impossible, for example, to work on crossing and shooting when the winds are as strong as they have been. That said with the number of games that we’ve had recently all that we would be doing is keeping things ticking over. You don’t want to risk injury or fatigue with such a demanding schedule of matches.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
0              2              3              3              9
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Doolan 7
Steven Lawless 4
Aaron Muirhead 4
Christie Elliott 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Ross Forbes 1
Kallum Higginbotham 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Wednesday January 1st 2014
Celtic 1, Partick Thistle 0
Hearts Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
0              1              4              2              11
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Callum Paterson 4
Jamie Hamill 4
Ryan Stevenson 3
Jamie Walker 3
Danny Wilson 2
Jason Holt 1
Jordan McGhee 1
Kevin McHattie 1
David Smith 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Thursday January 2nd 2014
Hibs 2, Hearts 1
Last Meeting
Scottish Premiership
Friday August 16th 2013
Partick Thistle 1, Hearts 1
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Taylor-Sinclair, Welsh (Higginbotham), Balatoni, Muirhead, Craigen, Bannigan, Doolan (Baird), Lawless, Fraser.
Hearts: MacDonald, Hamill, McHattie, Wilson, McGowan, Robinson (Tapping), Paterson, Walker, Holt, McKay, Smith (King).
Thistle: Muirhead (85)
Hearts: Walker (88)
Crowd: 6,540

Match Details
Scottish Premiership
Sunday January 5th 2014
Hearts v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Admission Details
Supporters Buses Information
Match Officials
Referee: Iain Brines
Assistant Referees: Dougie Potter and  Graham McNellie
Fourth Official: Euan Anderson
Other Premiership Fixtures
Dundee United v Hibs
Kilmarnock v Aberdeen
St Mirren v Celtic

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