Rangers have been utterly flawless in the Scottish Premiership this season, but they have perhaps shown some signs of slipping up in recent weeks, although they are very small signs indeed. Steven Gerrard’s side have won ten games on the bounce in the league, scoring 36 and conceding just three. They have conceded just five goals all season and their goal difference stands at a whopping +48.
However, they conceded at home for the first time this season in their last game at Ibrox against Motherwell and they were also briefly pegged back when they took on Dundee United at Tannadice either side of a League Cup defeat to St Mirren. Admittedly, it is not much to celebrate for the other teams in the league, but it is all the only hope they’ve got at the moment.
Rangers v Hibernian, Boxing Day: 12.30pm
Sky Sports Football
Rangers are yet to drop a point at home all season, and are unlikely to do so on Boxing Day, even though Hibs are the only team in the league who they are yet to beat.
Hibs scored 40% of the goals that Rangers have conceded this season in a 2-2 draw at Easter Road earlier in the season and are currently on a five-game unbeaten run. They currently sit in third place, just one point off Celtic, although the champions do have three games in-hand. Hibs will make this difficult for Rangers, but it should be another impeccable home win for the runaway league leaders.
Part of the reason for Rangers’ terrific form this season has been the outrageous goalscoring ability of their right-back and captain, James Tavernier. He boasts outrageous numbers for a fullback, and there are few clubs in world football in the possession of such a high-scoring defender.
Tavernier has scored 17 goals from 30 games in all competitions and an impressive 11 goals from 19 league appearances.
He is Rangers’ top scorer in the league and in all competitions and also currently stands as the league’s top scorer. Add in the fact that he is part of a defence that has conceded just five goals all season and Tavernier would be a shoe in to win player of the year if the season ended today.
He has scored six goals in his last seven league games and could prove the difference in what will ultimately be a tight game.
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Hibs are not going to make this easy for Rangers, who have had things their own way far too often at home this year. Having not played Celtic at Ibrox yet, this is arguably Rangers’ toughest home fixture so far and they may struggle to inflict the damage that they have inflicted on other sides.
If Rangers do manage to keep a clean sheet, then it is very unlikely that there will be more than two goals in this game. Hibs have conceded three goals in just one of their 27 games in all competitions and boast the third-best defensive record in the league after Celtic and Rangers and it could be a bit of a slog for the league leaders this Saturday.
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Rangers v Hibs tips
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