The new season of Scottish Premier League gets under way with the clash between reigning champions Rangers and the team tipped to break the Old Firm rivals one day in future, Hearts. Just few days before this game Gers have completed the signing of talented full back Lee Walace from Hearts, which adds a new dimension to this clash.
Gers in problems
One of the two biggest Scottish clubs have been in big financial problems over the last few years, so no wonder that their fans are still waiting for big name signings. Nonetheless, the effervescent manager Walter Smith managed to lead Gers to third successive SPL title, but he has now decided to step down and leave the reigns to former assistant Ally McCoist. The club managed to keep hold of their key players, while bringing defender Juanma Ortiz from Almeria and left-back Lee Walace from Hearts, whereas Alejandro Bedoja is still waiting for a work permit to complete his move from Orebro. Rangers have had mixed success in pre-season, although convincing victories over Linfield and Blackpool did hint that the team were on the right track. With players like Steven Naismith, Nikica Jelavic and Kyle Lafferty in the side, the hosts have enough attacking potential to hurt Hearts, although their back line does seem a bit shaky at the moment.
Hearts stronger than last term
Hearts have always been tipped to upset the order in the Scottish Premier League, but while they have shown a lot of potential lately, the Jambos are still some way off having the required quality to match sides like Rangers and Celtic. Following the third-place finish from last season, the club have reinforced the squad over the summer, with Daniel Grainger, Jamie Hamill, Ryan Logan, John Sutton and Mehdi Taoui, although they did stay without Lee Walace, who has just signed for Rangers. The Jambos have shown some potential in pre-season games, but the clash at Ibrox will be the first real test for them this season. Hearts players seem to be in very optimistic mood before the Rangers game and even assistant manager Billy Brown is adamant that Jambos are going for a win at Ibrox.
Jamie Hamill is suspended for this game, whereas Kevin Kyle and Calum Elliot miss out through injury. Former Rangers stopper Andy Webster should be fit to play.
Reigning champions Rangers are eager to start the new SPL campaign with a win, so there is no doubt they will attack their opponents from the off. Hearts, on the other hand, are eager to prove they can match the best sides in the league, so we can expect a lot of fireworks at Ibrox, with both teams to score the obvious choice.
Our prediction: Both teams to score
Odds: 2.00 (1/1)
Bookmaker: Stan James