AFTER a difficult week, the challenges keep on coming for Dunfermline when the Championship leaders come calling this afternoon.

In one of only two games taking place in the division today, Heart of Midlothian - who are 10 points clear at the summit - make their second trip to East End Park this season to face a Pars side desperate for points after two damaging defeats to Dundee and Raith Rovers.

Here's what you need to know ahead of the match.

What time is kick-off?

The action gets underway at 3pm.

Where can I watch it?

Pars TV have live coverage, available to season ticket holders and also pay per view customers, who can watch for £12.

Press Sport will also have live updates from East End as they happen.

Why are there only two Championship matches on today?

After it was announced that the Scottish Cup could resume, this weekend was set aside for ties in the third round. Both the Pars and Hearts, as well as Abroath and Alloa Athletic, who play at Gayfield in a key match at the bottom end of the table, were knocked out in round two.

What has both clubs' recent form been like?

Well, from a Pars perspective, there hasn't been a lot to cheer recently.

After the defeat to Greenock Morton, on penalties, in the Scottish Cup second round, they let slip a two-goal lead to lose at Dundee, one of their rivals for a play-off place, last Saturday evening.

Then, on Tuesday, Raith Rovers - who sit second in the table - blew Stevie Crawford's side away with a thumping 5-1 victory, inflicting Dunfermline's heaviest defeat of the season, and worst derby loss since a 6-0 reverse in 1983.

The result also saw Athletic drop below Inverness Caledonian Thistle to fifth on goal difference - leaving them outside the promotion play-off places for the first time this season.

Since defeating Hearts back in November at home - a result which took them top - Dunfermline have collected just 17 points from 16 games, the joint worst run in the league.

On the positive side, 12 of those points have come at East End, but those four wins - against Arbroath, Raith Rovers, Alloa and Morton - are the only ones they've had in that period.

Hearts come into the game with just two wins from their last seven Championship fixtures - at home to Dundee and Ayr United - and have not won away from Tynecastle since a 1-0 success at the latter on April 5.

They have lost two games on the bounce; at home to Queen of the South last Saturday, which was preceded by a Scottish Cup exit at Highland League Brora Rangers.

Robbie Neilson's men, however, are 10 points clear at the top with five matches to go. Dunfermline have played a game fewer.

When can Hearts win the title?

It looks like that, despite there being bumps along the road, the Championship trophy will end up in Gorgie and secure an instant return to the top flight for the Jam Tarts.

Victory for the visitors wouldn't be enough to clinch it just yet but, if they leave East End with three points, a win at home to Alloa Athletic next Friday evening will see the job done.

Previous meetings this season?

As already touched on, Dunfermline beat their capital opponents in November, in the first meeting between the sides this campaign.

Goals early in the second half from Dom Thomas and Euan Murray (pictured) put the Pars in command and, although Stephen Kingsley pulled one back late on, the hosts did enough to earn a 2-1 win.

Dunfermline Press:

In January, Athletic headed for Edinburgh seeking a first win at the maroon side of the city since 1990.

Despite a promising performance - which saw Scotland star Craig Gordon deny Ryan Dow a first half opener with a wonder save - a terrific goal by substitute Jamie Walker won the day for Hearts.

Dunfermline Press:

Dunfermline Press:

Dunfermline Press:

Overall, it is the Jam Tarts who have the better head-to-head record, with 65 league wins to Dunfermline's 22, with 25 games drawn.

Prior to November's loss, Hearts had won seven of their last 10 trips across the Forth in all competitions.

What's the team news?

For Dunfermline, Craig Wighton (pictured below) - on loan from Hearts ahead of completing a pre-contract move in the summer - is unable to feature as per the loan arrangement made between the clubs.

Dunfermline Press:

Steven Whittaker has recently been absent with an ankle problem while Paul Watson, who missed the Rovers match with injury, remains a doubt.

Vytas Gašpuitis is, however, back in contention after international duty with Lithuania.

The centre back featured in all three of their games; starting in the 4-0 friendly loss to Kosovo, and the 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in their opening World Cup Group C match, before coming on as a substitute in the 2-0 reverse to Italy in Vilnius.