So much is on the line for Rangers at Hampden

So much is on the line for Rangers at Hampden
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 23: A general view inside the stadium prior to the Betfred Cup Semi-Final match between St Johnstone and Hibernian at Hampden Park on January 23, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

There’s a LOT on the line for Rangers at Hampden on Sunday.

Form at Ibrox has been wretched in recent weeks, the manager has struggled badly and derailed somewhat, and the players have looked pedestrian and uninspired.

What’s more, the last cup match Rangers were in was yet another turgid affair in which Hibs had too much for the visitors at Easter Road, yet an early penalty for Philippe Clement’s men and two red cards for the hosts helped immeasurably to get the result Rangers wanted.

Hearts are a much, much better team than Hibs, who missed out on a top 6 spot, while Hearts sit comfortably in third.

Now, there is a caveat – Rangers generally have an excellent record against Hearts, a side who usually don’t cause the Famous too many issues – but then Clement’s first match against them really was an ugly affair, a sign of many performances to come when the hosts laboured horribly after an early Shankland header.


Steven Naismith’s side are in some quality form, not perfect, but third for a reason, and Rangers’ defence is deeply frail which Lawrence Shankland will have a field day with.

There’s little chance Ridvan Yilmaz will be fit, with Diomande potentially returning, but the bottom line is Rangers have everything to lose on Sunday.

Would defeat be Clement’s job on the line?

No, nowhere near – he’s going to get a summer to build his team no matter what happens this season. We’re pretty sure of that.

Rangers have invested big money in him, and even though he’s gone off the rails completely recently, he’s going to get the full window to build a Rangers team and show this recent malaise is meaningless.

Ibrox Noise has been vocally critical of him lately, and many fans have shared our concerns, albeit 95% of around 6000 polled still back the manager totally.

We do too.

We want to be wrong about our worries, about the patterns we’re seeing, but the evidence lately doesn’t give much hope for it. We can’t stand his conduct lately but we don’t care if he ‘says the wrong things’ as long as the team is still winning.

Either way, it starts on Sunday.

And Rangers really have to beat Hearts and earn another cup final.

A lot is depending on it.

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