Rangers will aim to retain their leadership of the Scottish Premiership table on Wednesday when they travel to face Hibs.
Steven Gerrard’s men jumped to the summit of the standings on Sunday as they beat Hamilton 1-0 at home and surprisingly retained that position thanks to the Edinburgh club, who overcame Celtic 2-0 at Easter Road.
With Neil Lennon’s men having won back-to-back games for the first time this season and high in confidence, the Gers’ trip to Leith promises to be no straightforward task.
|Game||Hibernian vs Rangers|
|Date||Sunday, December 19|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 12:45pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be streamed via B/R Live.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the UK, the game will be shown on BT Sport 1 and can be streamed through the BT Sport Live app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 1||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Bogdan, Marciano, Laidlaw|
|Defenders||Hanlon, Ambrose, McGregor, Porteous, Nelom, Stevenson, Whittaker, Gray, Mavrias|
|Midfielders||Milligan, Bartley, Hyndman, Slivka, Mallan, Horgan, Murray|
|Forwards||Agyepong, Boyle, Maclaren, Kamberi, Shaw|
Hibs’ injury problems have barely eased from their weekend victory over Celtic, with Thomas Agyepong and Charalampos Mavrias on the sidelines. The match is likely to come too soon for David Gray and Paul Hanlon.
Mark Milligan, Marvin Bartley, and Martin Boyle will probably miss out, too. Vykintas Slivka is a further worry but is hopeful of playing.
Possible Hibs starting XI: Marciano; Whittaker, Ambrose, Porteous, Stevenson; Horgan, Slivka, Mallan; Hyndman; Kamberi, Maclaren
|Goalkeepers||McGregor, Foderingham, McCrorie|
|Defenders||Tavernier, Goldson, Flanagan, Ross McCrorie, Katic, Bradley, Barisic, Worrall, McAuley|
|Midfielders||Dorrans, Jack, Ejaria, Halliday, Coulibaly, Kent, Arfield, Kelly, Grezda|
|Forwards||Candeias, Sadiq, Morelos, Lafferty, Middleton|
Steven Gerrard will have to do without the long-term injured trio of Lee Wallace, Jamie Murphy and Graham Dorrans. It seems unlikely that Ryan Kent will be fit to play.
Alvaro Morelos returns from a ban and will go straight into the starting XI.
Possible Rangers starting XI: McGregor; Tavernier, Worrall, Goldson, Barisic; Jack, Arfield, Coulibaly; Candeias, Morelos, Middleton
Betting & Match Odds
Rangers are priced as 17/20 favourites to win this game by bet365. Hibs are considered a 14/5 bet to win, while a draw is 14/5.
Steven Gerrard is expecting fireworks as he takes his Rangers side to face Hibs at Easter Road on Wednesday.
Six points differentiate the top seven in the Scottish Premiership currently, and with the title race shaping up to be one of the tightest in living memory, the Liverpool legend knows that every match is of vital importance.
Although Hibs have been out of sorts for much of this term and lie seventh, Gerrard is well aware of the threat they pose, particularly after they overcame Celtic at the weekend.
“I think it is going to be a big challenge for us as they are a good team and they have got good players,” he said.
“They are an attacking team who like to pile men forward, and they play brave football, so it is an exciting one.”
The last meeting between the clubs came on the final day of last season, when Hibs threw away a 3-0 advantage, trailed 5-3 but salvaged an incredible 5-5 draw thanks to a Jamie Maclaren goal three minutes into stoppage time.
“It was one of those crazy games where you just don’t know what is going on at both ends with both teams trying to win it going gung-ho," Gerrard added.
“I wouldn’t mind scoring five again, but I wouldn’t want my team to concede five! I don’t predict it to be as similar as that but I do predict an attacking game and an exciting game as there are a lot of good footballers on the pitch, and I think the atmosphere will be intense.”
Neil Lennon will be in the opposite dugout and is looking forward to the challenge of coming up against someone he respects immensely.
“Gerrard was one of my heroes as a player,” he admitted. “As a manager now, he’s getting the best out of that group of players which augurs well for the future.
“I was surprised that he took the Rangers job… Rangers is a very difficult job – a big job.
“It’s a very difficult first job, in particular. Especially coming from the outside in.
“It took guts to do that. He has that quiet steel and self-belief and it is a great quality and admirable.”
Nevertheless, he is optimistic of causing another upset.
“Rangers like Celtic are beatable although they’re top of the league for a reason,” he said.
“The win on Sunday will have given everyone a lift. We’ve taken one huge step forward and now we need to take another. We know we’re capable of beating anyone in this league.
“We have to replicate Sunday’s performance against Rangers now. We have to be consistent and the players have set their marker.”