Hearts v Rangers: Where to watch, kick-off time, likely line-ups

Robbie Neilson is set to take charge of his final match at Tynecastle tonight as Hearts entertain Rangers.

Robbie Neilson is set to take charge of his final game as Hearts manager. Picture: SNS
Robbie Neilson is set to take charge of his final game as Hearts manager. Picture: SNS

While Neilson’s impending departure to MK Dons has dominated the headlines, the game itself will be a huge occasion between two teams battling it out near the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

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Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game...

Kick-off time: 7.45pm

Where to watch: BT Sport 1 (programme starts at 7pm)

Hearts team: Hamilton; Paterson, Souttar, Rossi, Rherras; Kitchen, Cowie; Walker, Djoum, Muirhead; Johnsen. Subs from: Noring, Smith, Ozturk, Oshaniwa, Nowak, Buaben, Sammon, Watt, Currie, Beith.

Team news: Callum Paterson is in contention to start despite being forced off against Motherwell at the weekend with a head injury. Sam Nicholson (knee) remains a long-term absentee.

Rangers team: Foderingham; Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace; Halliday, Holt, McKay; Forrester, Dodoo, Miller. Subs from: Gilks, Hill, Senderos, Hodson, Crooks, O’Halloran, Windass, Garner, Waghorn, Bates.

Team news: Josh Windass and Clint Hill will be assessed prior to the match. Hill missed Saturday’s 2-1 win over Partick Thistle with a knock, while Windass was forced off at half-time during the match after suffering a hamstring problem. Jordan Rossiter (calf) and Niko Kranjcar (knee) remain long-term absentees.

Referee: Craig Thomson

Key Hearts player: Arnaud Djoum is coming off the back of an excellent performance in Hearts’ 3-0 win against Motherwell where he registered two assists in the victory. He’ll not only have to reproduce his attacking prowess against Rangers, but also contribute alongside Perry Kitchen and Don Cowie to close down the opposing midfield, cut off their passing lanes and stop the visitors controlling possession.

Key Rangers player: Rangers have really lacked a spark in attack this season. Their 19 goals in the league puts them in fifth place in the goals scored table, behind Celtic, Hearts, Aberdeen and 10th place Inverness CT. However, they got two goals in 11 minutes against Partick Thistle when it really mattered, thanks to substitute Joe Dodoo. The striker will likely be granted a place in the starting XI at Tynecastle and if he can provide that added impetus up front, then Rangers may find the consistency that’s eluded them so far this season.

Last five meetings: Hearts 2 - 2 Rangers; Rangers 2 - 1 Hearts; Hearts 2 - 0 Rangers; Rangers 1 - 2 Hearts; Hearts 0 - 3 Rangers

Odds: 9/5 Hearts, 5/2 Draw, 6/4 Rangers (McBookie.com)

What Hearts are saying: “I’ve seen a lot of [Rangers] on TV and they have a quality. In this league maybe they will be the second, third or fourth team in the league. They are similar to us. If we play to our best, then we have a great chance to win.” (Arnaud Djoum)

What Rangers are saying: “Everybody talks about Aberdeen, Hearts, but it’s just about three points tomorrow night. We know it’s a tough game. But we are in good form. We have won five out of six, we are second in the table because we deserve to be.” (Mark Warburton)

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