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Saturday 7th May 2005, 15:00 at Ibrox.

Rangers versus Heart of Midlothian


PREVIEW

It really is incedible how many twists this season's championship has had and they keep coming. Last week Rangers faced the probability that they would be going to Pittodrie trailing Celtic by 8 points. A week later they are looking to go top of the league, even if it is only for 24 hours. The advantage is still very much with Celtic and all Rangers can do is keep winning in the hope of piling on the pressure. If recent events are anything to judge by Rangers will have a better chance of taking all 3 points trailing Celtic rather than leading them.

Rangers trail Celtic by 2 points going into this game and should really be beating Hearts if they are to become Scotland's top club. Their recent home form though is a worry after taking only 1 point from their last 3 home matches. Added to that Hearts have already proved recently that they can beat anyone, anywhere in the SPL by beating Celtic 2-0 at Celtic Park.

Although Rangers are trailing Celtic by 2 points they are showing signs of improvement this season. They have already amaessed more points than they did in the 2000/01 season under Advocaat and last season under McLeish. One more win from their last 3 games would see them overtake their 2001/02 tally as well but they are still a long way off the 2002/03 title winning season.

Code:
[b]              00/01   01/02   02/03   03/04   04/05[/b]
[color=blue]Rangers[/color]        82      85      97      81      84
Rangers should at least be looking to maximise their tally this season. They could finish with 93 points if they will all their remaining matches. That may not be enough but it would at least show they were back on track. First though they need to take their points to 87 on Saturday before Celtic host Aberdeen the following day.

Code:
[b]SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE TOP SIX
_______________________
           P   W   D  L  F  A   GD Pts
[color=darkgreen]Celtic     35  28  2  5  80 32  48 86[/color] 
[color=blue]Rangers    35  26  6  3  71 20  51 84[/color]
[color=green]Hibs       35  18  6 11  61 52   9 60[/color]
[color=red]Aberdeen   35  16  7 13  40 36   4 55[/color]
[color=darkred]Hearts     35  13 11 12  41 35   6 50[/color] 
[color=darkorange]Motherwell 35  12  8 15  41 42  -1 44[/b][/color]
Heart of Midlothian

Hearts could still have a big say in the title race with this game at Ibrox followed by Celtic at Tynecastle. Their season though is now over and they now know their will be no European football next season. This season they had a decent UEFA camapign with the highlights being the knocking out of Braga and an away win at Basle.

They have taken points off both the Old Firm this season and will be hoping to do more of that before the end of the season. Like Rangers though they got a great 2-0 win at Celtic Park and have underperformed since. They actually haven' twon a game since.

Their last 5 SPL results:

  • 0-0 Motherwell (Home)
  • 2-2 Hibernian (Away)
  • 1-2 Dundee United (Away)
  • 1-2 Hibernian (Home)
  • 2-0 Celtic (Away)

Of late their form has been better away from home. Despite defeat at Celtic Park they earned alot of respect for their performance and were unlucky not to take something out of the game. They have yet to beat Rangers this season but will be looking to do so on Sunday.

Rangers

Rangers are coming into this game off the back of a great win up in Aberdeen. Winning away from home hasn't been a problem this season though and they have won every away league match since new year's day.

Back at home winning has been a problem recently. They hadn't lost a home league game all season until they lost their last two back to back. That followed a home draw to mean only 1 point taken from a possible 9 points at home.

Rangers were back to playing good football against Aberdeen and that's the way I hope it continues. At home though with the pressure of going top of the SPL again might prove a different proposition.

Their last 5 SPL results:

  • 3-1 Aberdeen (Away)
  • 1-2 Celtic (Home)
  • 1-0 Dunfermline (Away)
  • 0-1 Dundee United (Home)
  • 3-2 Motherwell (Away)

HEAD TO HEAD

It won't be an easy game against a side who have given us a run for our money in every game this season. They also beat us at Ibrox in the last home game of last season.

Hearts felt hard done by in the last game and will no doubt be out to redress that penalty decision.

________________________________

SPL, Sun 12th Sep 2004

Heart of Midlothian 0(0)-(0)0 Rangers


EVENTS:

39
Pressley
54
Maybury
56
Ross
75
Thompson
89
Hartley
90
Moore
90
Neilson


A hard fought goalless draw saw Rangers fall 7 points behind Celtic are only 5 league games. It was a very different team that day with Stefan Klos, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Craig Moore, Chris Burke, Dragan Mladenovic and Paulo Vanoli all starting the match.
________________________________

SPL, Sun 28th Nov 2004

Rangers 3(1)-(1)2 Heart of Midlothian


EVENTS:
15
Boumsong
16
Hartley Rangers 0-1 Heart of Midlothian
31
Hartley
35
Wyness
45
McAllister Rangers 1-1 Heart of Midlothian
56
Novo Rangers 2-1 Heart of Midlothian
66
DeVries Rangers 2-2 Heart of Midlothian
81
Novo Rangers 3-2 Heart of Midlothian
90
Kisnorbo


DeVries caused Rangers alot of problems at Ibrox. He earned Hearts an early penalty then got a late equaliser. Nacho Novo was man of the match as his two goals gave Rangers all 3 points.

________________________________

SPL, Wed 2nd Mar 2005

Hearts 1(0)-(0)2 Rangers


EVENTS:

42
Prso
49
Novo Heart of Midlothian 0-1 Rangers
70
Namouchi for Buffel
74
Vignal
87
Burchill Heart of Midlothian 1-1 Rangers
90
Prso
90
Mikoliunas
90
Ricksen Heart of Midlothian 1-2 Rangers


Hearts thought they had won a deserved point 3 minutes from time when Burchill cancelled out Novo's opener. Controversy was to follow when Rangers were awarded a penalty in injury time. It led to Prso and Mikoliunas being sent from the field. Captain Nando stepped up to put away the pressure kick and win Rangers the game.
________________________________


THE TEAM

I think McLeish might stick with the same formation as the Aberdeen game. If he is going to stick with it then I'd rather see Burke in for Novo on the right but that isn't going to happen. Depending on who is available I think Rangers will line up as follows.

If Ball and Vignal are fit then McLeish will probably bring them in for Ross and Lovenkrands. Hopefully he won'y take out Alex Rae so he can move Ross to right back and Ricksen to midfield. If that wast of space Lovenkrands gets anywhere near that side then there is something badly wrong.

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

Ricksen-----Kyrgiakos--------Andrews--------Ball

Novo----A.Rae------Ferguson------Vignal

-------------------Buffel

-------------------Prso
 

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Was Lovenkrands so bad that Vignal will automatically come in for him? I don't want Vignal in the team at all. Ball for Ross is a no-brainer obviously, and he's supposed to be fit.

Hearts have already given us three tough games, and I expect more of the same on Saturday regardless of how they're playing. It will be interesting to see what effect Robbo's situation has on the players.
 

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In my view Lovenkrands was so bad that I should automatically start ahead of him. He's had more than enough chances now, alot more than Mladenovic ever got and Djordjic. Personally I'd give one of the youngsters a shot on the left. Even though it's out of position for Burke I'd rather see him there than Lovekrands.

I think Hearts will still be pissed off from the Tynecastle game and come out with all guns blazing. It's time we put them in their place.
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
In my view Lovenkrands was so bad that I should automatically start ahead of him.
Nice reply :D. Guess I won't be calling for him to get a game any more :mute:
 

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Aye, what's that about? I put him in my avatar and he scores two goals! How much do you think Nacho will pay to be in my avatar next week?

Anyway, a bit closer than it should have been, but basically mission accomplished. All we can do is win our games. I'm sure the two Jimmy's will have Aberdeen fired up tomorrow ;). (although i don't expect it to be enough)
 

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good performance in the first half, but we were poor at times in the second.

nice run by nacho to set up the first goal, good game by marv and i thought buffel was really good. one of his best performances yet (and he was playing in his proper position!)
 

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Michael 'Rangers almost signed me but I was too similar to what they already had' Stewart scored for Hearts. Thank Christ we didn't buy him. He's done nothing for them.

I wasn't able to watch/listen to the game but it seems as though Buffel was outstanding. Burkey did OK too, I think.

I'm pretty pleased.

And when the hell did Angle become Forum Manager? Masonic conspiracy!
 

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Marco Negri said:
And when the hell did Angle become Forum Manager? Masonic conspiracy!
I'm a Forum Mananger? :scream: How did this happen? I do know the odd funny handshake though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I noticed a few places crediting Stewart with the goal, don't know why as it wasn't going in till big Marv slid it home- great finish :dielaugh:
 
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