THE Mark Warburton era begins for Rangers on Saturday against Hibs, but how will they fare? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) gives us his best bets.
Hibs v Rangers | Saturday 12:30 | BBC Alba
Well, what a start to the Scottish season! The big two in the Championship meet in the opening round of the Petrofac Cup (for English readers, the equivalent of the JP Trophy) with the future of Scott Allan threatening to overshadow the game. The Hibs player has been the subject of two bids from Rangers with reports emanating that the player is desperate to go to Ibrox.
This really is a first-day-of-term match with a number of new signings potentially lining up for both sides and Rangers now under the tutelage of Mark Warburton. It’s not a match to be slapping huge hunks of cash on.
These sides met at this exact point of the competition last season with Rangers winning 2-1 after extra time but it’s Hibs who are favourites with most bookmakers this time round at 13/8. Rangers are best price 7/4.
The appointment of Warburton looks an exciting one for Rangers, it wouldn’t be folly to suggest he looks one of the most exciting upcoming English managers after his spell at Brentford. The Glasgow club were so poorly managed last season that you’d think this his presence will have a big impact on them.
Hibs had a poor start to last season but from November onwards found a stunning run of form that saw them overtake Rangers into second place in the Championship table. The Gers gained revenge in the play-offs of course, seeing off Hibs convincingly over two legs.
Will Scott Allan play on Saturday? Will the uncertainty over his future affect Hibs in this game? Very possible. With Warburton at the helm I can only see a much more professional Rangers set up this season and I’m wiling to take a chance on them on Saturday at 7/4 with Coral. The recruitment of so many new faces will help eradicate the utter stink from last season.
Hibs v Rangers – Rangers to win (7/4 Coral)