Hibees Targeting Ibrox Annihilation
Rangers v Hibernian
2nd plays 3rd in the Scottish Championship this Friday evening as Rangers take on Hibernian…
Where do you start with Rangers? Off the field the football club is a complete mess, from top to bottom. On the field things aren’t, relatively speaking, much better.
Sunday’s Scottish FA Cup loss at home to Raith Rovers was the Gers’ second successive defeat and a sixth loss in their last 11 fixtures in all competitions. For a team that were expected to waltz their way back into the Scottish Premiership this season, these are extremely worrying times.
One small positive to come out of the loss to Raith was a debut goal for one of the Newcastle loanees, Haris Vuckic, but it takes some serious straw-clutching to put any sort of positive spin on current ongoings at Ibrox.
Hibs, by contrast, can be pretty pleased about the way that their season is panning out. Saturday’s Scottish FA Cup win against Arbroath extended their recent run of form to just one defeat – excluding the penalty shoot-out loss to Dundee United – in 21 games in all competitions.
Off-the-field there is also reason to be cheerful after the club were able to reject a number of slightly derogatory bids for young talent Jason Cummings in the January transfer window. The 19-year-old has 11 goals to his name this season and could well command a substantial transfer fee in the summer if they choose to sell.
The suggestion that manager Kenny McDowall must field each of the five Newcastle loanees when fit creates an obvious problem. Only two were included in the starting XI at the weekend, however, and defender Remie Streete was substituted just before half-time due to injury and is therefore doubtful for this one.
Hibs can welcome back Keith Watson and Martin Boyle to the matchday squad after both were cup-tied for the 3-1 win over Arbroath last weekend, while Dominique Malonga returns to the fray following his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.
The recent head-to-head record between the two teams doesn’t make for good reading for Rangers fans either.
Hibs have scored seven goals in the two league meetings against Rangers this season, winning 4-0 most recently at Easter Road and 3-1 earlier in the season at Ibrox.
Jason Cummings has scored three goals in the two league meetings this season, while David Gray has two in two.
You’d have to be very brave, or stupid, to consider backing Rangers here at odds of 11/10. The Glasgow club have been taken apart by Hibs in the two league meetings this season, and come into this game in complete disarray and with morale at an all-time low as players are no longer being selected based upon ability and form.
At odds of 9/4, Hibs could be one of the best bets of the year so far in the Scottish Championship, and I’d even suggest taking it one step further and placing a few quid on the Handicap selections of Hibs (-1) at odds of 6/1 and Hibs (-2) at a huge 14/1.