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Rangers have chance to bounce back from cup shocks against Hibs

Glasgow meets Edinburgh as Rangers, 6/5 with Coral to triumph on home turf, host Scottish Championship rivals Hibernian.

Hearts have likely raced too far ahead in the title race to be caught now, but there is still second place, and home advantage in the play-offs, to play for.

Rangers, still rudderless after the departure of Ally McCoist, are currently reeling from the suspension of custodian Steve Simonsen, who will miss this match after reportedly breaching Scottish FA gambling rules.

Ibrox caretaker coach Kenny McDowell is craving victory after being forced to apologise for his side’s double cup defeat, including an embarrassing Old Firm exit to Celtic, followed by a shock sinking by minnows Raith Rovers.

Speaking after his side’s disappointing Scottish FA Cup exit, McDowell stated: “They come to watch their team and they pay good money and it’s our job to get a win on the day and we have failed. So we apologise for that.

“Yet again we have given ourselves an uphill struggle by conceding cheap goals. The goals are the main factor”, added the former St Mirren midfielder.

Stopper Simonsen’s absence could not come at a more inconvenient time then, but will likely provide Lee Robinson with a chance to prove his credentials between the posts with number one Cammy Bell still sidelined by a shoulder problem.

At Rangers, the rearguard has leaked nine goals in their last five games, perhaps this enforced switch will come as a blessing in disguise. However, as the Glasgow giants appear to be in such disarray, odds of 2/1 for Hibs to take all three points look profitable.

Hibernian can travel to Ibrox with confidence, having embarked on a nine game unbeaten run, and have defeated their upcoming hosts in two of their three duels this term so far. After putting eight past Gers in those recent results, back the Edinburgh outfit at 6/1 to score three or more.

Hibs head coach and ex-Everton defender Alan Stubbs can call upon Congo striker Dominique Malonga again after his adventures at the African Cup of Nations, and the frontman is 7/4 in the anytime market.

Former Wigan Athletic midfielder and free winter window signing Fraser Fyvie could make his league debut, and is 14/1 to celebrate in style by scoring last, whilst ex-Wigan Athletic star Lewis Allan is 10/1 to strike first.

You can never discount Rangers, however, and they hold the head-to-head record against Hibs emphatically, with 196 victories to 65.

Back former Celtic striker Kenny Miller at 8/1 to draw first blood, or cunning forward Kris Boyd at 7/1 to grab a goal first.