Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Scottish Premiership clash between Hearts and Rangers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Each team heads into the game on the back of victories at the weekend, and will be aiming to continue putting pressure on the current league leaders Celtic.
Hearts have been enjoying a four-match unbeaten streak in the Scottish Premiership heading into this midweek fixture which has allowed them to climb into third place.
The Jambos latest win took place at the weekend in a closely fought match against Kilmarnock, with a Will Dennis own goal being the only difference between them.
While there was not much between the teams it did mark the second match in a row where Steven Naismith‘s men kept a clean sheet, which will be important this weekend against the attacking Rangers.
Eight points separate them in the table right now, and while Hearts will be focusing on shrinking that gap they will also be aware that St Mirren are only a point behind them at the moment.
A defeat on Wednesday could not only see the Buddies overtake them, but it could also see Hearts drop down to fifth in the table if other results go against them.
Naismith will also be aware of the fact that the last two teams his team have been defeated it was against Rangers, with one loss in the league and the other in the Scottish League Cup semi-final.
The last league encounter was a very close one which left Hearts frustrated as they let a one-nil lead slip in additional time at the end of the game as the Gers walked away with a 2-1 victory.
However, the Scottish League Cup meeting was not quite as close, with Rangers scoring three goals in the space of 10 minutes to put the game to bed as they reached the final with a 3-1 win.
Those two victories were part of the 11-match unbeaten streak that the visitors are in the midst of in all competitions which will bring plenty of confidence to the team for this fixture.
With eight points between them and Celtic at the moment there is little room for error in each performance, which is something that Philippe Clement will be wary of.
Hearts Scottish Premiership form:
Hearts form (all competitions):
Rangers Scottish Premiership form:
Rangers form (all competitions):
Advert – content below:
Lawrence Shankland is another player who will anticipate being used from the first whistle in this match considering his recent personal form, and the fact he has scored against the Gers already this season.
Abdallah Sima scored a brace at the weekend as Rangers defeated St Mirren 2-0, and that should lead to him being used out wide once more.
Hearts possible starting lineup:
Clark; Kingsley, Kent, Rowles; Oda, Grant, Baningime, Lowry, Cochrane; Shankland, Boyce
Rangers possible starting lineup:
Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Lundstram, Cifuentes; McCausland, Lawrence, Sima; Dessers
We say: Hearts 1-2 Rangers
Rangers have proven to have Hearts’ number so far this season when they have met, and that is something that could continue in midweek.
The Gers are in the midst of a fantastic run of form, and the confidence that they are playing with will likely be the difference maker.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.