Rangers To Have Hearts Broken
Rangers v Hearts
This Friday’s Scottish Championship game sees the division’s top two teams meet at Ibrox.
Rangers welcome Hearts to Ibrox this Friday evening knowing that defeat will be one of the final nails in the coffin of their title bid. The Jambos are currently 13 points clear of the pre-season favourites and if that were to become 16 points one would have to suggest that the engraver can begin etching the Edinburgh club’s name into the trophy.
Off-field problems have obviously had an effect on the Rangers’ players and although they come into this game on the back of successive victories, four defeats in their last nine matches is a long way off where this team should be.
Midfielder Nicky Law scored his first goal in seven games in last weekend’s 1-0 win against Alloa, and in doing so moved on to 10 goals for the season and is the club’s top scorer.
Hearts, meanwhile, are taking full advantage of Rangers’ problems and remain unbeaten in the league this season. Aside from a couple of 1-1 draws in Edinburgh derbies Robbie Neilson’s side have won their previous 13 Scottish Championship games, and the only two games that they have lost in any competition since August have come in the cups against Celtic.
Top scorer James Keatings hasn’t found the back of the net in his last two games, after scoring in four consecutive appearances, while loan signing Genero Zeefuik scored a brace on debut against Dumbarton last weekend.
Defender Marius Zaliukas and goalkeeper Cammy Bell are both back in training for Rangers, but neither are expected to be available for selection this weekend.
Hearts also have a fully fit squad to choose from with loanee Zeefuik expected to retain his place in the starting XI after his blistering start to life in the Scottish capital.
Hearts won both previous meetings this season. Most recently was a comfortable 2-0 win at Tynecastle after Rangers were reduced to 10 men midway through the first half, while the other came at Ibrox on the opening day of the season in a 2-1 win that included two last-minute goals – one for either team.
The Jambos also won by the same scoreline on the most recent Scottish Premiership clash at Ibrox, back in March 2012 before the demise of Rangers Football Club.
Backing Rangers at a favourites price of 7/5 is simply not an option for me here. Hearts have shown this season already that they are more than capable of beating this Rangers side and with the Glasgow club frantically scrambling to keep their heads above water in the Scottish Championship the pressure will be magnified this Friday.
A draw would suit the visitors and therefore it makes sense to keep that on side, so we’ll take the 21/20 being offered about Hearts in the Draw No Bet market.