Rangers one of three Scottish Premiership teams to benefit from postponement decision

It was confirmed on Monday afternoon that domestic football will return this weekend following the postponement of all fixtures across Scottish football following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Despite sports such as rugby league and cricket continuing in England, the Scottish FA, after meetings with the SPFL, SWPL, Highland and Lowland Leagues, followed their English football counterparts by postponing the fixture card as a mark of respect.

Clubs are now set to return to action, starting with Celtic, Rangers and Hearts in European involvement midweek.

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While the postponement split opinion, the decision made by the organisations who run the leagues came at the right time for three Premiership clubs…

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Dundee United

The Tangerines have had a torrid season so far. How torrid? Well, they recorded their most famous European result since the 1980s when they defeated AZ Alkmaar at a raucous Tannadice in the first-leg of a Europa Conference League qualifier. Since then, they not only lost 7-0 in the return leg and were blitzed 9-0 at home to Celtic, but they also shipped three goals at home to St Mirren and four away to a Hearts side who have struggled for goals and results. Jack Ross paid with his job after just 71 days in the post.

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United had been due to host a Hibs team which is filled with a quality which would severely test the team’s defence: pace. Liam Fox has steadied the ship somewhat but building a more solid foundation and greater confidence would help when pitted against Martin Boyle and Elie Youan.

It also removed an element of pressure on the United hierarchy to quickly name a successor to Ross. Reportedly, a decision could be made this week.

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Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has watched his side lose 4-0 in back-to-back games. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Hearts

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A home match with St Mirren presented the team with a great opportunity to get back to winning ways. Following the 4-0 thumping by Istanbul Başakşehir, it is six defeats in seven, failing to find the back of the net in five. The postponement was beneficial to allow the team time to recharge, both physically and mentally following a spell of eight games across 25 days.

Hearts are trying to get Craig Halkett and Alan Forrest available for their Europa Conference League clash with RFS in Riga on Thursday, while for the other players it should allow them to be in a better condition for the fixture with Robbie Neilson lamenting the lack of spark, intensity and energy in a recent loss to Livingston.

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Rangers

Dundee United have had a torrid season. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
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Such are the expectations at Ibrox, back-to-back 4-0 defeats for Rangers summons the word no club wants to hear: crisis. The manner in which they lost the second of those games – to Ajax in the Champions League – suggested this was a team not ready to face a reinvigorated Aberdeen side who had tooled up in the transfer market.

It is something Rangers failed to do to the necessary levels of a side which is trying to compete in the Champions League and with an impressive Celtic outfit domestically. Not playing on Saturday, stopped the bleeding, even if just momentarily, because the Dons had well and truly got a big whiff of blood.

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These past few days should have allowed Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his players to take stock of their current position.

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Hearts have lost six of the seven. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

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