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Hearts vs. Rangers: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

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          Hearts vs. Rangers: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

          This Saturday, Heart of Midlothian, commonly known as Hearts, will face Rangers in what promises to be an intriguing clash in the Scottish Premiership. Both teams have had contrasting seasons, but this match remains significant for both clubs as they look to end their campaigns on a positive note.

          Date: 18/05/2024

          Kick-off time: 12:30

          Location: Tynecastle Stadium

          Hearts have enjoyed a strong season, currently sitting third in the Scottish Premiership with 66 points from 36 games. Under the guidance of manager Steven Naismith, Hearts have already secured a playoff spot for next season’s Europa League, a testament to their consistency and quality throughout the campaign.

          One of the standout performers for Hearts this season has been striker Lawrence Shankland. With 29 goals in all competitions, Shankland has been a crucial figure in Hearts' attack, often providing the decisive touch in front of goal. His prowess and clinical finishing have made him one of the most formidable strikers in the league this season.

          In defence, Frankie Kent has been a rock at the back for Hearts. His solid performances have been instrumental in providing stability and resilience to the team’s defensive line. Kent’s ability to read the game and make crucial interceptions has been vital in many of Hearts' successful outings this season.

          Hearts' journey this season has been marked by a series of strong performances, allowing them to establish themselves firmly in the top three. With 66 points, they have ensured that they cannot be dislodged from their current position, which reflects the consistency and quality of their play over the course of the season.

          Steven Naismith’s management has been a significant factor in Hearts' success. His tactical acumen and ability to get the best out of his players have been evident throughout the campaign. Securing a Europa League playoff spot is a significant achievement for the club and sets a solid foundation for the next season.

          In contrast, Rangers have experienced a season that promised much but ultimately delivered less than expected. Currently second in the league with 81 points from 36 games, Rangers had positioned themselves well earlier in the season but have seen their title hopes slip away in the closing stages.

          Right-back James Tavernier has been one of Rangers' standout players this season. Known for his attacking prowess and ability to contribute goals and assists, Tavernier has been a consistent performer for the team. His leadership on the pitch and contributions from set-pieces have been invaluable.

          Defender Connor Goodson has also been a key figure for Rangers. His defensive solidity and composure have provided a strong backbone for the team. Alongside him, midfielder John Lundstram has been a vital component in Rangers' midfield, offering both defensive stability and the ability to drive the team forward.

          For Rangers, this season has been one of frustration and missed opportunities. Despite being well-placed to challenge for the title, they have seen their chances diminish in the latter stages of the season, culminating in a hugely frustrating Old Firm derby defeat at the weekend that has all but ended their title hopes. This has been particularly disappointing for a club of Rangers' stature and ambition, especially considering their desire to prevent Celtic from closing in on their league title record.

          Under manager Philippe Clement, Rangers have shown flashes of brilliance but have struggled to maintain the consistency required to sustain a title challenge. The inability to capitalise on key moments and maintain form has been a recurring theme, leading to a season that has fallen short of expectations.

          Rangers' recent history has seen them win just one league title out of the last twelve, a statistic that underscores their challenges in maintaining dominance in Scottish football. This season's outcome, therefore, adds to the frustration of their supporters, who have seen Celtic come within two titles of their league record.

          While Hearts and Rangers may not have any league positions to fight for in this match, the game still holds significant importance for both clubs. For Hearts, it’s about consolidating a successful season and preparing for European competition. For Rangers, it’s about restoring pride and setting the stage for a more successful campaign next season. Fans can expect a competitive and engaging encounter as both teams aim to finish their seasons on a high note.

          Both Teams To Score

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          Rangers To Win The First Half

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          Rangers To Win The First Half @ 1/1
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          Rangers To Score In Both Halves

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          Rangers To Score In Both Halves @ 11/10
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          Team News

          Hearts Team News:

          Liam Boyce remains a long-term absentee for the home side.

          Hearts could name the same starting XI for the second successive game following a very strong performance at the weekend.

          Rangers Team News:

          Connor Goldson will play no further part for Rangers this season and will miss out once again here.

          John Lundstram is unavailable through suspension after his red card at the weekend, with Ross McCausland the likely man to come into the starting lineup.

          Form Guide

          Hearts' form has been mixed of late as the Edinburgh-based side come into this game having won two, drawn one and lost two of their last five games. Most recently, Hearts surged to an emphatic 3-0 win over Dundee, with the goals coming from Kenneth Vargas, Alan Forrest and Lawrence Shankland.

          Prior to that, Hearts embarked upon a three-match winless run as they fell to a 3-0 defeat away at Celtic, a result that followed a 0-0 draw away at Kilmarnock and a 2-0 loss at the hands of Rangers.

          Those results were preceded by a 4-2 win over Livingston, where Jorge Grant, Yutaro Oda, Cameron Devlin and Shankland all found the back of the net.

          Rangers have been in solid form of late having lost only one of their last five games, but that defeat was about as crushing as they come and it occurred in their most recent game where Philippe Clement's men fell to a 2-1 defeat away at fierce rivals Celtic, a result that all but mathematically crowned Celtic champions.

          Before that game Rangers had been on a good run, with the Gers having registered three successive wins against Kilmarnock (4-1), with the goals coming from Fábio Silva, Ben Davies, Tom Lawrence and John Souttar, St. Mirren (2-1), courtesy of an own goal and a strike from Cyriel Dessers, and Hearts (2-0), via a Dessers brace.

          Rangers' other results in that five-game stretch included a 0-0 draw with Dundee.

          Footy Accumulators Prediction

          This is now a total dead rubber in terms of potential tangible effects on the league table but both sides will no doubt want to win for different reasons. It would be very sour for Rangers' season to peter out so miserably and they still have the FA Cup final against Celtic to look forward to so they need to keep sharp. Hearts will surely be in better spirits entering this game but their recent record against Rangers is poor, so we're backing the away side to just about edge this one. Hearts 1-2 Rangers.

          Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

          Header logoScottish Premiership - 2nd Phase - Championship Group

          Team logoRangers
          Team logoHearts
          Team logoKilmarnock
          Last updated 20/05/2024

          Header logoScottish Premiership - 2nd Phase - Championship Group

          Team logoCeltic
          Team logoRangers
          Team logoHearts
          Last updated 20/05/2024