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Aug 23, 2015 at 12.30pm UK
RangersRangers
1-0
Hibernian
Tavernier (65')
FT(HT: 0-0)
/esi/1339/6_G_1_44825/index.html?art_id=240913&game_id=44825&sport_id=1&ESI

Preview: Rangers vs. Hibernian

:Headline: Preview: Rangers vs. Hibernian:
Sports Mole previews the Scottish Championship clash between Rangers and Hibernian at Ibrox.
By , Reporter | 4y

Rangers will hope to maintain their perfect start to the season when they host Hibernian in the Scottish Championship.

However, the Leith outfit are already making up ground on the Light Blues and will hope that positive result at Ibrox will help their own bid for promotion to the Premiership.


Rangers


Gers fans may have hoped to have gained promotion from the Scottish Championship at the first time of asking, but last year's playoff exit seems to be firmly in the past.

Stuart McCall's brief reign at Ibrox was brought to an end after the 6-1 aggregate defeat against Motherwell, which denied the Govan outfit the chance to play in the top flight after a three-year exile.

However, since the appointment of Mark Warburton, a wave of optimism appears to have covered Ibrox, with 19 goals in his first five competitive matches in charge.

They opened their 2015-16 campaign with a 6-2 victory away to one of their likely promotion rivals in Hibs in the Challenge Cup, before comfortably winning a League Cup tie against Peterhead.

Rangers' Championship season began with a comfortable win against St Mirren, who will also harbour hopes of regaining their Premiership status at the first time of asking, before thrashing Alloa Athletic last weekend.

Warburton brought ex-Wigan Athletic duo Martyn Waghorn and James Tavernier up to Scotland and both have been among the scorers so far this term.

As has Andy Halliday, who followed up his FA Cup heroics from last season by finding his goal-scoring touch at Ibrox after joining from Bradford City in the summer.

The new Gers boss will also hope that Tottenham Hotspur loanees Nathan Oduwa and Dominic Ball can make an impact as he seeks automatic promotion rather than the possibility of more playoff heartache.

Recent form: DWLLWW
Recent form (all competitions): LWWWWW


Hibernian


Like Rangers, Hibs have seen their playing squad change over the summer, but have struggled to produce winning form since the start of the season.

After replacing Terry Butcher last summer, Alan Stubbs's first season in charge of the Edinburgh side ended in heartbreak as they were knocked out of promotion playoff by the Gers last May.

His second season began with that 6-2 home defeat to the Light Blues in the Challenge Cup before they beat Montrose at Easter Road, but their first Championship game, on the banks of the River Clyde, saw them beaten by Dumbarton.

They do at least go into the game at Ibrox on the back of a win over Greenock Morton and the Hibees will hope to resurrect the form they took into that fateful playoff campaign, winning their remaining five Championship games to finish second.

Hibs must travel to Ibrox without Scott Allan who left Easter Road to join Celtic, but the Leith outfit will look to rediscover their winning touch in Govan, having won twice away to the Blues last term.

However, the club have since completed the signing of ex-Celtic and Rangers midfielder Dylan McGeouch, who could make his debut at Ibrox.

Recent form: WWLWLW
Recent form (all competitions): LWLWLW


Team News


Rangers could ring the changes for the visit of Hibs after resting Waghorn, Halliday, Rob Kiernan, Nicky Law, and veteran forward Kenny Miller for the trip to Ayr United in midweek.

Ball and Oduwa, both of whom made their first starts at Ayr, may be among the players to make way.

Tom Walsh, Nicky Clark and Dean Shiels also played in the Challenge Cup tie at Somerset Park, but may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Ex-Blues midfielder McGeouch could make his first start for Hibernian since re-signing for the Edinburgh club on Friday.

If the former Scotland Under-21 international does start, it may be that Marvin Bartley is the man to make way in midfield.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Tavernier, Wilson, Kiernan, Wallace; Halliday, Law, Holt, McKay; Miller, Waghorn

Hibernian possible starting lineup:
Oxley, Gray, Hanlon, Fontaine, Stevenson, McGeouch, Fyvie, McGinn, Boyle, Malonga, Carmichael


Head To Head

It is perhaps not surprising given Rangers' history of competing for top honours that the Blues have won almost 58% of the 344 meetings between the teams.

Indeed, Warburton's side can register the Glasgow giants' 200th all-time victory over Hibs with a win at Ibrox.

Beyond their most recent meeting in the League Cup, Hibernian have had a good recent record against the Gers, winning three of the four Championship meetings last season, including a 4-0 victory at Easter Road in December.

They also won the second leg of the promotion playoff in May, although the Leith outfit ultimately lost 2-1 on aggregate.



We say: Rangers 2-0 Hibernian

With Hibernian's form proving to be indifferent of late and Rangers making a confident start on all fronts, it is difficult to see past a comfortable victory for the hosts. However, with Hibs' recent record at Ibrox, the visitors will hope that they can at least compete with the Glasgow giants.


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23221054153967
2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
4Chelsea2412484132940
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
9Southampton2494113142-1131
10Arsenal2461263234-230
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
12Everton2486102835-730
13Burnley2493122838-1030
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2365122738-1123
18Bournemouth2465132337-1423
19Watford2458112136-1523
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317
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