Giovanni van Bronckhorst appears on his way to Ibrox to replace Steven Gerrard but while the latter’s departure has disappointed many, he has left the club in a healthy state and there shouldn’t be any immediate sweeping changes.
The Gers have lost just twice in 19 appearances as both defeats came in Europe to Lyon and Sparta Prague, with the club currently enjoying an eight-game unbeaten streak.
Although Gerrard’s time at the club must ultimately be deemed a success with their comprehensive title win last term ending Celtic’s 10 in a row ambition, silverware in the domestic cups has continued to allude them.
Rangers last lifted such a trophy back in 2011, but Hibs have endured their fair share of recent disappointment too. They played at Hampden Park on four occasions last season, missing out on three chances to obtain silverware.
First, they lost to fierce rivals Hearts in a delayed Scottish Cup semi-final from the previous campaign, got hammered 3-0 by St. Johnstone in the semis of the League Cup, while they were beaten by the same side again in the final of the Scottish Cup in May.
Hibernian also enter this fixture off the back off four consecutive defeats, which is their longest run of losses in the league since March 2014, as they suffered relegation at the end of that season.
They haven’t actually played since October 27th as covid hit the squad, forcing their scheduled clashes with Ross County and Livingston just prior to the international break to be postponed.
Jack Ross will hope his team returns reinvigorated, but he will still be without forward Christian Doidge, who scored in their first two league games this season before being struck down with injury.
Rangers To Win By 1 Goal
For Rangers, Leon Balogun will continue to partner Connor Goldson with Filip Helander a long-term absentee, while Borna Barisic should return to the side in place of youngster Calvin Bassey.
Ryan Jack made his first appearance since February just prior to the international break in the 4-2 win over Ross County, but should be limited to a substitute role again with Glen Kamara, Steven Davis and Joe Aribo established in the middle of the park.
However, key winger Ryan Kent returned from a hamstring injury with an assist against Brondby and a stunner against Ross County, and will no doubt resume his place in the starting line-up here.
With injuries clearing up and key first team stars back in action, Rangers will be gutted if they let this opportunity pass them by against a side mired in poor form.
They’re unbeaten in 13 meetings with Hibernian since May 2018, winning eight of the past nine, though each of the last four encounters have seen Rangers triumph by just a single goal.
Six of Hibernian’s eight domestic defeats since March have come by the same margin, with four of these ending 1-0, and with a place in the final at stake Rangers look set to edge a tight tussle.
RANGERS TO WIN BY 1 GOAL