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Discussion Starter #1
Saturday 29th January 2005, 15:00 at Ibrox.

Outside of the old firm the Edinburgh club is agreed by most to be the most impressive this season. Their 3rd placing in the league confirms this but it is the footballing they are playing which is most impressive. They are on a real confidence high at the moment so are sure to give us a good game this Saturday.

Aside from playing the Old Firm their recent form has been excellent. The last time they were beaten in the League outside of playing the top 2 was on 30th October 2004 at Rugby Park when they lost 3-1. That was followed by only 2 defeats in 11 games (losing to the Glagow giants) winning 8 of those. It's impressive stuff and they just seem to be getting better with every game. Here are their last 5 SPL results:

  • 3-0 Kilmarnock (Home)
  • 2-0 Livingston (Away)
  • 1-1 Hearts (Home)
  • 4-1 Dundee United (Away)
  • 2-1 Dunfermline (Home)
Depspite not leading the SPL at the moment we're having a good season also. We remain the only side in the SPL not to have lost a home game. After 24 SPL matches we've only suffered one defeat (Celtic) but our points have been dropped in draws with other clubs. The greatest thorn in our side has been Dundee United when you look at where we have dropped our points:

  • 4 pts Dundee United
  • 3 pts Celtic
  • 2 pts Abedeen
  • 2 pts Heart of Midlothian
  • 2 pts Inverness CT
We haven't lost a home game in the SPL since 29 August 2004 and haven't dropped any points at Ibrox since the 1-1 draw with Dundee United on 24th October 2004.

Recently we've been back on form despite a blip at Tannadice which was down to transition. We've been finding the net more than ever but have conceded more goals than we were at the start of the season.

  • 3-0 Livingston (Home)
  • 2-1 Aberdeen (Away)
  • 3-0 Dunfermline (Home)
  • 1-1 Dundee United (Away)
  • 4-1 Motherwell (Home)
Depsite Hibs good form they have yet to take a point from us this season. Both encounters have been close games, even though the scoreline at Ibrox would not suggest that. We do have to be cautious though as they have already taken points off Celtic. Here are this season's meetings:

SPL, matchday three (21st Aug 2004)
Rangers 4(2)-(1)1 Hibs
Arveladze 11, Prso 15, Caldwell 35, Boumsong 58, Lovenkrands 84

SPL, matchday fourteen (14th Nov 2004)
Hibs 0(0)-(0)1 Rangers
Prso 65 (pen)

I'd imagine any chance McGregor had of starting this game were blown before he went off on holiday by his comments. Toss up again as to whether Ross will start ahead of Hutton (I'd rather see Hutton in now for the Old Firm match around the corner) and whether Ball will start ahead of Vignal. I don't think McLeish will play both left backs as I think he'll want to start with Bazza. I think he'l line up like below. I'm crossing my fingers that we don't see Vignal starting in midfiled with Ricksen at right back.

Code:
             Waterreus

Ross          Andrews         Kyrgiakos          Ball

      Ricksen        Ferguson             A.Rae             

                       Buffel                   

               Novo              Prso

Prediction: 3-1 to the Rangers.
 

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will be pretty tough. we were a bit lucky at Easter Road earlier in the season and Hibs were quite unlucky against Celtic away. Hopefully their luck isn't going to get any better for saturday because this is a must win game for us with the old firm game the week after
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Even at Ibrox the game was still in the balance at 2-1 before we went on to win in. In the 4 games they have played against the Old Firm they have played very well. we'll have to be at our best to take all 3 points on Saturday to go back on top of the SPL.
 

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Hopefully this'll be a really good display of attacking football from both sides (preferably more from us). I'm pretty certain Mowbray will send his team to attack from the outset, which should make for a rare open game at Ibrox. I think we've got so many players in good form atm that we'll be too good for the Hibs youngsters. They'll be capable of scoring against our defence unless Andrews is near the top of his game. I've heard Kyrgiakos is pacey, and this might be the sort of match where we'll see that tested.

This will be the first SPL match i've actually gone to in a long time. My last league match was a 6-1 win, and I don't think we'll fall far short of that scoreline this time. 5-1 for the teddies :D Novo 1st goalscorer.
 

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Ladbrokes have Hibs @ 10-1 for this match. I think they have a better chance of winning than those odds represent, so I'm having some of that action.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think Hibs have enough in their locker to win at Ibrox or Celtic Park for that matter but the odds are over the top I agree. At Easter Roan I think they have a good chance of beating one of the old firm before the season is finished.
 

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mincecfc said:
Ladbrokes have Hibs @ 10-1 for this match. I think they have a better chance of winning than those odds represent, so I'm having some of that action.
12/1 with Stanley's, which is too big. Just don't waste too much money mince ;).
 

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Let me firstly say this forum and website in general has improved 10 fold since I last visited. I see some old faces around and some new :)

I don't see Hibs being too much of a problem. Much is said about teams who don't come to Ibrox/CP and attack. They don't do it for a reason, it's suicidal. Calderwood tried it a few times with Dunfermline and got taught a valuable lesson which he has put to good use this season taking a win at Celtic Park and 2 points from us on the opening day of the season.

Hibs attacking will allow Rangers more room in the final thrid of the pitch pretty much in the same fashion as happened when Dundee Utd brough on Jason Scotland. I'm not predicting another thrashing though. 3-1 to the Teddy Bears is my prediction.
 

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Welcome (back) to the forum. Keep up the good posting :thmbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Welcome too, I think you must have been before my time.
 

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He's before my time as well. Didn't he die in 1956? :( ;)
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
Welcome too, I think you must have been before my time.
TB is one of few that I recognise. Fair play to him for sticking by the forums as the Scottish one was going to the swanny. :thumbsup:

Nice to see a fair number of like-minded people here. :shades:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hopefully Nacho can stay on the park this time which would be a bonus. He and Dado are doing well this season with 26 league goals between them. If McLeish keeps playing them together through the middle then they could hit 50 but he seems intent on switching Novo wide right on a whim and leaving Dado on his own.

A win would put us back on top of the SPL on Saturday night once again which at least puts some pressure on Sellick on their trip to the Highlands.

At home we've scored more goals than anyone by a country mile. We've knocked home 35 goals in 12 games which is a baw hair off 3 goals a game- not bad at all. Defensively we've only lost 5 goals in all that time too. Unfortunately one of those goals cost us two points but apart from that Barry Robson freekick we've taken all the points. Our home form has helped us to keep a 6 goal advantage over Celtic in the goal difference column. It all points towards a victory tomorrow and I hope a convincing one.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
TEAM NEWS

Bazza will start the game but McLeish is giving nothing away as to who will be between the sticks.

Arveladze and Lovenkrands are available for selection while Ross has picked up an injury. Djordjic is still out. Here is how I think they'll line up but hopefully not, either that or Buffel will play in the more familiar advanced role behind the strikers with a 3 man midfield. Not what I would pick but I think this is how McLeish will go, second guessing him though has proved impossible up to now.

----------------Waterreus

Khizanishvili----Kyrgiakos----Andrews----------Ball

Ricksen----Ferguson----A.Rae----------Buffel

--------------Prso--------Novo
 

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Gotta be The Mullet in net IMO. His quick thinking in distribution could be vital especially with Hibs attacking and leaving gaps at the back.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Jonny said:
Gotta be The Mullet in net IMO. His quick thinking in distribution could be vital especially with Hibs attacking and leaving gaps at the back.
His distribution was the one thing that impressed me at Hampden. He's always looking to get a move started quickly and looks like he'll give the backline confidence as an outlet if they get in a tight situation.

As well as the obvious goals I'm hoping we can keep a clean sheet as we've only kept two in the last 6 games since Boumsong left. We did score 17 right enough but after being very tight at the start of the season I think we've been a bit ropier than usual there of late.

It did actually start before Boumsong left however. Up until the end of November only CSKA, Hibs, Celtic and Dundee United had scored a single goal against us at Ibrox. Then Hearts scored two, Auxerre scored two and Motherwell scored one in the two months that followed. Not sure why that happened.

We have though scored 9 goals more than Celtic at home and conceeded a goal less so it has been good at home. Our only blemishes so far have been the draw at home to Dundee United and the defeat at home to Auxerre.

C'mon the Rangers!
 

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If Ross is injured, then you'd want your right-back for the Celtic game to be the one that plays tomorrow. That would have to be Hutton for me. Khizanishvili did well in the November games, but it's not his position.

McGregor's blown his chance of starting tomorrow by speaking out, whether he was misquoted, trapped or whatever. If McGregor was now to start under these circumstances he would be under a lot more pressure than if he'd kept his mouth shut. Waterreus' throw-outs are better than Klos' kicks, which isn't too hard tbh.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For me it would be Hutton too but I just get a horrible feeling it will be Zurab or Ricksen. Hutton played well against Celtic last month as he always does so he should he in there but I'm not so sure he will be.

As you pointed out alot of how the team lines up will be with an eye on next week's game. McGregor has stuffed it up for himself because I do think he would have played in this game had he not gone public.
 

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That's how the Rangers should be playing football. Quick one/two touch passing on the deck right across the pitch. 3-0 doesn't do us justice today. It should have been at least that by half-time. Hibs showed some glimpses of what they can do, but it was basically men against boys throughout.

Novo should have scored after a few minutes. Vignal played a briliant crossfield ball for Prso who laid it in Novo's path with one touch, but Nacho contrived to put it wide when clear from 8 yards. He had another similar chance later in the first half, but again put it wide from even closer in. Buffel supplied the cross that time.

Can't remember the order of some of the chances, but Ricksen missed a great one, when Novo had done brilliantly to pull the ball back with 3 Hibs players around him. Prso eventually broke the deadlock with a free header from a Ball corner. Only a disgraceful decision (from my view) by the referee's assistant prevented Prso grabbing a quick second. Talking of disgraceful decisions, I also felt the ref denied Novo a clear penalty when he was pulled back whilst going clean through. When we were awarded a first-half penalty, it was the correct decision, with the Hibs player chopping Novo's legs away from him. Hopefully, that's Novo off penalty duty because it was another poor effort from the spot.

We started the second half really well, and got the important 2nd goal quickly. Buffel broke down the right, pulled it back across the 18-yard box to Novo, who laid it off for a first-time Prso strike into the corner. Great goal.

The third was another example of great football. Think it was Novo who played a deft wee knock-on for Prso, who immediately played Buffel in. The wee man had plenty to do, but held off his man for about 20 yards before waiting for the keeper to go down, and placing the ball in the corner. You can tell he still lacks some confidence in front of goal, but he's improving with each performance.

Hutton was excellent at right-back, particularly on one occasion in the first half. O'Connor was one on one with Hutton going in on goal, but Hutton just waited, made it as difficult as possible for O'Connor, and got a foot in. O'Connor had a headstart on him btw. Also the reason it was one-on-one was because Kyrgiakos has been watching the best of Lorenzo Amoruso...

I was on the look-out for this Hibernian boy wonder, but didn't see him :confused: He got subbed not long into the 2nd period, and he wasn't a happy bunny. O'Connor did much better than his strike partner.

Last point: Big Marvin isn't good enough. If he makes some of the mistakes he did today against better teams, we'll be punished. But you've got to see this tackle he went into in the 2nd-half :drool: It better be on the highlights programme :thumbsup:
 

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BillStruth said:
Let me firstly say this forum and website in general has improved 10 fold since I last visited. I see some old faces around and some new :)

I don't see Hibs being too much of a problem. Much is said about teams who don't come to Ibrox/CP and attack. They don't do it for a reason, it's suicidal. Calderwood tried it a few times with Dunfermline and got taught a valuable lesson which he has put to good use this season taking a win at Celtic Park and 2 points from us on the opening day of the season.

Hibs attacking will allow Rangers more room in the final thrid of the pitch pretty much in the same fashion as happened when Dundee Utd brough on Jason Scotland. I'm not predicting another thrashing though. 3-1 to the Teddy Bears is my prediction.
This guy speaks a lot of sense! :thmbup: :D
 
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