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Hearts logo
Scottish Premiership | Gameweek 38
May 18, 2024 at 12.30pm UK
Tynecastle Park
Rangers logo

3 - 3

Shankland (33'), Lembikisa (82'), Tagawa (90+5')
Rowles (56')
FT(HT: 1-0)
McCausland (52'), Cantwell (69'), Silva (79')
Dowell (63')

Preview: Hearts vs. Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish Premiership clash between Hearts and Rangers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Rangers make the trip to Tynecastle to face Hearts in their final fixture of the 2023-24 Scottish Premiership campaign on Saturday afternoon.

A whopping 17 points separates these two teams in the table, with the Gers sitting second and one place above the Jam Tarts in third spot.

Match preview

Rangers manager Philippe Clement applauds fans after the match on March 14, 2024© Reuters

For the fifth time in six seasons, Rangers will have to settle for a second-placed finish in the Premiership as bitter rivals Celtic were confirmed as champions once again with a game to spare after thrashing Kilmarnock 5-0 on Wednesday night.

The Hoops looked on course to celebrate title glory 24 hours earlier as Rangers were losing 2-0 at home to Dundee in their penultimate league fixture, with Jordan McGhee and Antonio Portales scoring for the visitors in the space of just two first-half minutes.

However, Ross McCausland pulled one back for the Gers on the stroke of half time, before the floodgates opened after the interval, with Scott Wright (2) Cyriel Dessers, Todd Cantwell all getting their names on the scoresheet to seal a 5-2 victory in their final Ibrox match of the season.

Philippe Clement said after the game that his side 'missed their aggression' and they had to make themselves 'angry' at half time. The Belgian was also disappointed with the 'stupid' goals conceded, but he was pleased with their second-half response and has encouraged his players to show the same resilience in their final two fixtures.

Before preparing for a Scottish Cup final showdown with Celtic on May 25, Rangers will look to end their league campaign on a high against a Hearts outfit whom they have beaten in their last five meetings by an aggregate score of 13-2.

Hearts manager Steven Naismith reacts on October 29, 2023© Reuters

Hearts have known their final league position for some time, with this season's third-placed finish and current points haul of 67 an improvement on the previous campaign (fourth with 54 points).

Steven Naismith's side put together a strong run of form prior to their Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers at the end of April - a 2-0 loss at Hampden Park - but they have since won only one of their last four league fixtures.

The Jam Tarts were forced to come from behind twice to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw at St Mirren on Wednesday, with Premiership Player of the Year Lawrence Shankland coming off the bench to net what proved to be a decisive equaliser midway through the second half - his 30th goal of the season in all competitions.

Hearts are now hoping to end the season with a victory over a Rangers side whom they failed to beat in their last 14 meetings across all competitions since claiming back-to-back home wins in the league (2-1) and Scottish Cup (1-0) at the beginning of 2020.

Hearts Scottish Premiership form:

Hearts form (all competitions):

Rangers Scottish Premiership form:

Rangers form (all competitions):

Team News

Rangers' Cyriel Dessers celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 21, 2024© Reuters

Hearts quartet Liam Boyce (leg), Peter Haring, Craig Halkett (both knee) and Calem Nieuwenhof (hamstring) all remain sidelined with injuries, while Stephen Kingsley is a doubt after he was absent in midweek due to an issue with a nerve in his leg.

Jorge Grant also missed the draw with St Mirren due to illness, but the midfielder could be fit to return to the first-team fold on Saturday, while Scott Fraser, Toby Sibbick, and Kyosuke Tagawa will all be hoping to retain their starting spots.

As for Rangers, Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun, John Souttar, Dujon Sterling, Tom Lawrence, Oscar Cortes, Rabbi Matondo, Bailey Rice, Abdallah Sima and Danilo were all absent in midweek due to injury and Clement is hopeful that some of those will return in time for the Scottish Cup final, although the biggest concerns are with Sima and Danilo.

John Lundstram may have played his final game for the Gers as he will serve the second of a two-game suspension this weekend and is due to see his contract expire at the end of the month.

Clement is unlikely to make too many changes, if any, to his starting lineup, but the likes of Wright, Kieran Dowell, Kemar Roofe and Borna Barisic - the latter, like Lundstram, is out of contract in two weeks' time - will be hoping to force their way into the first XI.

Hearts possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Sibbick, Kent, Rowles; Lembikisa, Devlin, Denholm, Fraser, Cochrane; Shankland, Tagawa

Rangers possible starting lineup:
Butland; Tavernier, King, Davies, Barisic; Diomande, Raskin, McCausland, Cantwell, Silva; Dessers

SM words green background

We say: Hearts 2-2 Rangers

An entertaining end-to-end contest could on the cards between these two teams in what is now a dead-rubber fixture. You could argue that Rangers are still favourites to come out on top even without anything riding on this clash, but we believe that Hearts will give the Tynecastle faithful something to cheer and may find a way to claim at least a share of the spoils.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Rangers manager Philippe Clement on February 6, 2024
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Group A

Q Germany Germany22006
2 Switzerland Switzerland21104
3 Scotland flag Scotland20111
4 Hungary Hungary20020

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania20111
4 Croatia Croatia20111

Group C

1 England flag England11003
2 Slovenia Slovenia20202
3 Denmark Denmark10101
4 Serbia Serbia20111

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands11003
2 France France11003
3 Poland Poland10010
4 Austria Austria10010

Group E

1 Romania Romania11003
2 Slovakia Slovakia11003
3 Belgium Belgium10010
4 Ukraine Ukraine10010

Group F

1 Turkey Turkey11003
2 Portugal Portugal11003
3 Czech Republic Czech Republic10010
4 Georgia Georgia10010

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