Following Rangers’ first top of the table clash with Hibs almost two weeks ago follows the second one in a row against their city rivals Hearts, in a belting match which will test Rangers title aspirations as much as it will test the Gorgie side’s staying power.
Just a single point behind, Robbie Neilson’s Tynecastle outfit are showing all the promise in the SPL they did under this manager in the Championship, and while it’s ‘only’ October, Hearts are demonstrating serious resilience already and are completely unbeaten.
It must also be remembered that Hearts actually have a better record statistically than Rangers do, with the same number of goals and less scored – of course the stat which matters is points, and Rangers creak ahead by that single one.
So this weekend will be a giant test. Mercifully it’s at Ibrox, which has been a real fortress for Rangers, with only Motherwell having taken anything away domestically from Govan in over a season, so Hearts certainly won’t have it easy.
But it is a titanic clash. Hearts have already put Celtic in their place, and are eager to do the same to Steven Gerrard’s side.
And with Rangers’ defensive trials, Liam Boyce could have a very good day indeed, as the SPL’s top scorer.
Rangers will need to be on their game, and producing better than they did certainly for large spells of a difficult clash with Hibs, including having a man advantage.
Hopefully the international break will spur the side on with a hint of freshness in many of the legs.