THERE has possibly been more said about tonight’s Rangers v Hearts game on the site than any previously.
The chat started even before the prices were revealed and of course the odds took many by surprise with unbeaten Championship leaders Hearts prices big at 13-5.
There were two reasons for this: 1. Rangers are still a big name and outside Scotland many people will back them blindly and 2. Odds compilers don’t know how poorly Rangers are playing despite winning their last two matches.
Not many who have been watching Scottish football will come to the conclusion Rangers are better than the Tynecastle men – even Rangers fans I know moan about the lack of pace and stylee in the team and Hearts have that in plenty.
As we know Hearts have been hammered since odds were revealed on Monday and biggest price now is 9-5 with William Hill and it’s still worth taking – but if you want to play it safer Jambos draw no bet is 11-10 with Paddy Power.
Rangers are a best 31-20 with McBookie and some of their most diehard fans will jump at that offer. It’s a price they won’t have seen in the league since the last time they faced Celtic.
It’s also worth pointing out fans’ groups are planning a protest outside Ibrox at 7pm and are urging Rangers supporters not to enter the ground after the latest revelations about Mike Ashley and his proposal to gain security over Ibrox with a £10million loan.
The off-field situation has just got a lot worse and surely will have an adverse effect on the Glasgow side.
Hearts have already beaten Gers twice in the league this season – as have Hibs – and the signing of striker Genero Zeefuik allows Robbie Neilson to return to his favoured 4-4-2 set-up.
Since being humbled 4-0 at Easter Road a couple of weeks ago Kenny McDowall’s men have scrambled wins against Dumbarton and Alloa but all is not well.
The only doubt in my mind is Hearts – with a 13-point lead at the top – see a draw as a good result but that doesn’t seem to be the way they are thinking when you look at the pre-match build-up. Also it’s always difficult backing against Rangers or Celtic because they can triumph in adversity.
However , I like the look of Hearts and I’m even happy to do a small stake on Hearts minus one at 5-1 with William Hill – and I’m sure that price will shorten before kick-off.
Zeefuik, who hit a double at Dumbarton on his debut, is 7-1 at McBookie to score first with top scorer James Keatings the same price at boylesports.
With strike stars Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller continuing to struggle Nicky Law remains Rangers’ biggest threat and is 11-1 at bet365.
It was fiery in the last two meeting with two reds – and there could have been more. I expect plenty of cards and a possible sending-off with the plenty of mud-slinging in the build-up. When I find a red-card price I’ll add it.
And remember if you live in Scotland to check out the inplay offer from McBookie.
(9-5, William Hill)
(5-1, William Hill)
Zeefuik to score first