Despite not being at their best, an edgy win against bottom-placed Dundee United must have handed Rangers a much-needed breathing space prior to the international break. Celtic’s shocking defeat versus St. Mirren was the icing on the cake and the Light Blues must make the opportunity count by scripting a victory against Hearts on Saturday lunchtime.
However, it won’t be a stroll in the park for the Gers. The Jamtarts finished third last season and a strong start this term might see them challenging the Glasgow giants once more. They suffered heartbreak in the Scottish Cup final at the backend of the previous term and the players, therefore, would be desperate for revenge at Tynecastle.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Hearts
Jon McLaughlin has been struggling of late with fitness issues and gaffer Giovanni van Bronckhorst might opt for Allan McGregor similar to Napoli and Dundee United games.
James Tavernier must exhibit his mastery from the right. His marauding runs, cut insides and set-pieces would cause menace in Hearts’ defence, also the composure of left fullback Borna Barisic should help them dominate the show using the width of the pitch.
Ex-Jambos centre-half John Souttar remains sidelined since the opening gameweek, whereas the injury nightmare continues for Filip Helander, leaving Rangers with Connor Goldson, James Sands and Ben Davies as the senior central defensive options. Teenage sensation Leon King has shown his spark, but the manager should bank on Goldson and Davies, given their experience as well as expertise in the heart of the backline.
Ryan Jack is regaining his rhythm after a dreadful start and the Scotsman should partner with John Lundstram as the double pivot after impressing in Scotland colours. Lundstram had the much-needed rest as he featured almost twice a week across competitions.
Rangers have ample wide attackers in their ranks and the Dutch boss should rely on Scott Wright and Ryan Kent who are known for their raw pace and swift footwork. Both of them, however, must work on their final deliveries and finishing traits to pose a constant threat down the wings.
Tom Lawrence and Alex Lowry are recovering from their respective injury concerns, whereas Ianis Hagi is ruled out for months after sustaining a serious knee injury earlier this year. Malik Tillman, therefore, would be more effective as a ‘number 10’ compared to Scott Arfield, Steven Davis or Glen Kamara.
With Antonio Colak and Alfredo Morelos challenging each other for the ‘number 9’ spot, Kemar Roofe is also closing in on his return after months of absence. Colak is expected to spearhead the attack after a birthday brace versus Dundee United a couple of weeks back.