Football: Jefferies ready for battle of Hearts

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ON A rare weekend when all five Premier League games take place on a Saturday with a traditional 3pm kick-off, Hearts travel to Dundee United today, aiming to go into third place.

The Hearts manager, Jim Jefferies, confirmed on Thursday that he would continue in his role at Tynecastle despite learning of a vote which went narrowly against his removal. Hearts were fortunate to escape from an encounter with Motherwell on Monday without suffering a demoralising loss. The Edinburgh side were 1-0 down at the interval when the referee opted to abandon the game in deteriorating conditions.

His United counterpart, Paul Sturrock, will have a full squad to pick from apart from the French defender, Jean-Pierre Delauney, who is still struggling to overcome a hamstring injury.

Kilmarnock could include their new signing Christophe Cocard for the home meeting with Dundee at Rugby Park. The 31-year-old French striker has told his new manager, Bobby Williamson, he is fit to play, but after the side's success at Hibernian his debut chance is likely to come via the bench.

The Rangers manager, Dick Advocaat, will make changes to his side for today's meeting with St Johnsone as they try to keep their unbeaten home record in the League, but the Saints manager Sandy Clark can draw on the memory of a shock 3-1 win over the treble-winners when they last met in April.

Motherwell are to carry out urgent repairs on the Fir Park pitch after today's Premier League match against Aberdeen was postponed following an inspection.