RANGERS go into tonight's SPL clash with Hearts eight points adrift of Celtic – and facing the possibility of being leapfrogged by the Jambos.

Walter Smith's side have three games in hand over their bitter rivals but it's always better to have points on the board.

That makes tonight's meeting at Ibrox a real crunch affair and I reckon Rangers will rise to the challenge after being boosted by the arrivals of David Healy and El Hadji Diouf.

Hearts beat the champions 1-0 at Tynecastle recently before being crushed 4-0 at Celtic to cast doubts on their ability to mount a title challenge.

But the Jambos will remain in the mix with a win – and be forced to settle for third place and a Europa League spot if they lose.

I'm siding with Rangers score a narrow success, possibly 2-1, to keep the heat on Celtic.

Healys scored just eight league goals in three years – and he's 5-4 with William Hill to beat that tally in his four-month stay at Ibrox. The Northern Ireland star has lost his way since leaving Leeds in 2007 but hopes to recapture top form at his boyhood heroes.

Healy could make his debut against Hearts tonight and is a biggest 5-1 with bet365 and Chandler to bag the opener.

To score fewer than eight pays 10-11 and exactly eight is 11-2. Healy has 17 games to be gr-eight and could do it if he hits the ground running.

Diouf is unlikely to start tonight but is a best 6-1 with Ladbrokes to score first if he does.

Rangers are a best 8-15 with Ladbrokes to win while Hearts are as big as 13-2 at boylesports. The draw pays 7-2 with Chandler and you can have Hearts plus two goals at 1-2 with Hills.

Healy would be regarded as prolific if he played for Hibs. The Easter Road men haven't scored this year and McBookie.com offer 50-1 they fail to net in the month of February.

Colin Calderwood's men, who have strengthened their strikeforce with the capture of Akpo Sodje from Charlton, face a St Mirren side who boast one goal in 2011.

This won't be a goalfest and no scorer is the obvious Easter Road bet at 10-1 with Coral while under three goals in the game is 4-5 at Betfred.

Hibs are 2-7 with McBookie.com to end their drought against the Buddies tonight, 5-2 v Kilmarnock, 9-1 v St Mirren (a) and 20-1 v Inverness.
Elsewhere, Inverness could be held at home by draw specialists Dundee United.

Motherwell were impressive against Rangers on Sunday and could beat a Killie side reeling from the loss of top scorer Conor Sammon to Wigan. Well are 13-10 with William Hill and bodog.


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