Steven Gerrard takes his side to Easter Road for their latest challenge in the Scottish Premiership
Rangers can close the gap at the top of the Scottish Premiership table to five points if they win against Hibs on Friday.
Steven Gerrard’s side have allowed Celtic a healthy advantage with a few loose performances at the start of 2019 and face a difficult journey to Easter Road to stay in touch with their rivals.
The Edinburgh side were knocked out of the Scottish Cup 2-0 against the Hoops last weekend, but manager Paul Heckingbottom has won his first three league matches in charge and is aiming to continue that trend against stern opponents.
|Game||Hibs vs Rangers|
|Date||Friday, March 8|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 2:45pm ET|
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 2 and can be streamed via BT Sport Live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2||BT Sport Live|
|Defenders||Hanlon, McGregor, Nelom, Stevenson, Gray, Mackie, Johnson|
|Midfielders||Milligan, Bartley, Omeonga, Slivka, Mallan, Horgan, Murray, Bigirimana|
|Forwards||Kamberi, Shaw, McNulty|
Hibs are short of numbers heading into this encounter, with Vykintas Slivka suspended after being dismissed against St Johnstone.
Injury problems are their biggest worry, with Martin Boyle and Ryan Porteous out for the season.
Meanwhile, the trio of Ryan Gauld (hamstring), Steven Whittaker (groin) and Thomas Agyepong (thigh) are unable to return.
Possible Hibs starting XI: Marciano; Gray, McGregor, Hanlon, Stevenson; Milligan; Omeonga, Mallan, Horgan; Kamberi, McNulty
|Goalkeepers||McGregor, Foderingham, Firth|
|Defenders||Tavernier, Flanagan, McCrorie, Katic, Barisic, Worrall, Goldson|
|Midfielders||Jack, Halliday, Coulibaly, Arfield, Davis|
|Forwards||Candeias, Morelos, Lafferty, Middleton, Defoe, Kent|
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has a doubt over the fitness of Ryan Jack, but after the midfielder trained on Thursday, he appears in good shape to make the cut.
Gareth McAuley is absent because of hamstring trouble, while Jamie Murphy and Graham Dorrans are still rehabilitating after serious knee problems. Eros Grezda is still missing.
Possible Rangers starting XI: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Worrall, Halliday; Jack, Arfield, McCrorie; Candeias, Morelos, Kent
Rangers are 3/5 favourites with Bet365, while Hibs can be backed at 4/1. A draw is priced at 16/5.
Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.
Time is rapidly running out on Rangers’ Scottish Premiership title challenge, with Celtic allowed to have opened up an eight-point lead at the head of the table.
Gers boss Steven Gerrard well knows that his side cannot afford to spill points when they travel to face Hibs on Friday, just as they did when the clubs met at Easter Road in December.
Speaking on Thursday, the manager said: “I think we were guilty of not taking our chances on the night but you have to give credit to their goalkeeper. He was named man of the match, but in terms of our performance it was superb and certainly deserved three points.
“We need to go there and try to find a performance that is capable of getting three rather than one.
“I was very pleased with the performance we put in last time, so if we can hit those heights again and be a bit more clinical in front of goal I’m sure we’ll get out of it what we are looking for.”
The Ibrox outfit dominated on that occasion but were unable to break down their determined opponents, with Alfredo Morelos liable to be key to that effort.
The Colombian hitman has 28 goals for the season and has attracted interest from the Premier League and Bundesliga most notably, with Eintracht Frankfurt expected to have a scout in the stands watching this match and Borussia Dortmund also monitoring his progress.
“I’m sure it’s flattering for Alfredo and I think it’s a big compliment for him and it shows that he is in terrific form and he’s in a great place,” Gerrard said.
“The interest and the speculation is not going to go away, that’s something we have to live with, but we certainly see it as a compliment because I’d be more concerned and more worried if no-one was interested in my players.”
Morelos may have penned a new deal stretching until 2023 on Friday, but that may only serve as a temporary reprieve given his red-hot form.
Hibs, meanwhile, go chasing a fourth straight league win as they aim to nail down a place in the top six.
However, after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Celtic in the Scottish Cup last weekend, they find themselves short of numbers and manager Paul Heckingbottom is envious of Gerrard’s settled side.
“Rangers have been good, they’ve hit form and are scoring goals, I cannot imagine Steven will change too much but he has that capacity if he wants with the squad he has, competition for each position,” he said.
Even a repeat of December’s draw would be seen as a major boon.
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