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Oct 16, 2021 at 3pm UK
Lundstram (40')
Goldson (23'), Aribo (36'), Balogun (47'), Bacuna (87')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Halkett (90')
Cochrane (16'), Baningime (37'), Devlin (75'), Kingsley (87')

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

:Headline: Preview: Rangers vs. Hearts - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish Premiership clash between Rangers and Hearts, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

The two top teams in the Scottish Premiership will go head to head this weekend as Rangers attempt to hand Hearts their first defeat of the season in the league when they welcome them to Ibrox Stadium.

However, with the visitors sitting just one point behind the Gers, Saturday's fixture will provide them with the opportunity to overtake them.

Match preview

Rangers are attempting to defend the Scottish Premiership this season, and so far things have gone well for Steven Gerrard's squad, who currently top the table with 19 points from the opening eight games.

The Gers have not lost a match in the league since the second game when Dundee United came out on top, but they were able to quickly rebound from that defeat.

In the Europa League, the Scottish team have struggled, failing to pick up a win or score a goal in the opening two games, but they reacted well to the recent loss against Sparta Prague during their latest outing, against Hibernian.

The Hibees were undefeated heading into the fixture, but Gerrard's men were able to come back from behind to win the game 2-1 with goals from Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos.

They will now face the only remaining team in the division that have not lost a game in Hearts, who have been the surprise package so far this season after their promotion in 2020-21.

In the previous two meetings between the clubs, it was Hearts that came out on top, and they are results that Robbie Neilson will be pleased to see repeated.

His team have been brilliant in the league, having not lost yet, and a big part of that has been the defensive performances that they have brought.

The Jambos have kept four clean sheets in their last five matches and no team have conceded fewer goals than them, which is one of the reasons they currently sit in second place.

Hearts defeated Motherwell in their most recent fixture and once again it was Liam Boyce who was on target, with Stephen Kingsley rounding out a 2-0 victory.

Boyce has been one of the most dominant strikers in the Scottish Premiership this season, and he is currently the top scorer in the league with six goals, which could prove to be crucial this weekend.

Rangers Scottish Premiership form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Rangers form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Hearts Scottish Premiership form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Hearts form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

After being used as a substitute against Hibernian last weekend, Roofe could find himself in the starting lineup on Saturday as he got himself on the scoresheet in that fixture.

However, Rangers will be without Filip Helander, who is currently unavailable, but they were handed a boost as central defender Leon Balogun is set to be fit after an injury scare during international duty.

Ryan Kent is another player that Gerrard will be unable to feature this weekend, as he is expected to be out for at least another week due to a hamstring problem.

Neilson did not change his starting lineup for the recent victory against Motherwell, and with another three points secured in that game, he might make the same decision, although John Souttar is expected to be fit this time around.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
McGregor; Patterson, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Lundstram, Kamara; Hagi, Aribo, Roofe; Morelos

Hearts possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Moore, Halkett, Kingsley; Smith, Baningime, Devlin, Cochrane; McKay, Woodburn, Boyce

We say: Rangers 1-1 Hearts

This is going to be a very closely contested fixture between two of the most impressive teams within the league so far, with neither side wanting to drop points in this fixture.

Both Rangers and Hearts are defensively strong, while also boasting some of the best attackers in the division, but the importance of the game could lead to them playing out a draw.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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