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Rangers logo
Scottish Cup | Semi-Finals
Apr 21, 2024 at 3pm UK
Ibrox Stadium
Hearts logo

2 - 0

Dessers (5', 78')
Souttar (59'), Raskin (82')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Devlin (59'), Tait (82')

Preview: Rangers vs. Hearts - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Scottish Cup clash between Rangers and Hearts, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Rangers and Hearts do battle at Hampden Park on Sunday with a place in the Scottish FA Cup final on the line.

The contest acts as a replay of the 2021-22 final, when Rangers prevailed to win their 34th title, and they will now bid to move within one game of regaining the trophy.

Match preview

Rangers manager Philippe Clement reacts after the match on April 7, 2024© Reuters

Rangers make the short trip to Hampden Park on Sunday with the aim of taking a step closer to their second piece of silverware of the season and the 35th Scottish Cup title in their history, having most recently prevailed in this competition in 2022 when they toppled Hearts in the final in Glasgow.

That tie remained goalless in 90 minutes and went to extra time, with the Gers eventually prevailing in a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Ryan Jack and Scott Wright, before exiting last year's competition in the semi-final at the hands of rivals Celtic.

Under the management of Philippe Clement, the Glasgow giants have been amongst the trophies once again already this season, having beaten Aberdeen 1-0 in the Scottish League Cup final in December with James Tavernier netting the only goal of the game 14 minutes from time, while progressing to the final four in the Scottish Cup with wins over Dumbarton and Ayr United before seeing off Hibernian in a 2-0 quarter-final win at Easter Road.

Clement's men now turn their focus back to the domestic cup aiming to arrest a slight dip in their form by their own standards, having lost pole position in the Scottish Premiership title race in recent weeks after staying ahead of Celtic with a dramatic 3-3 draw at Ibrox, having gone on to suffer a shock 3-2 defeat away at Ross County last Sunday before being held to a goalless stalemate by Dundee on Wednesday.

Rangers will now bid to rebound from those recent setbacks on Sunday and move onto the final of the Scottish Cup at Hampden Park before turning their focus back to their latest league title bid.

Hearts manager Steven Naismith reacts on October 29, 2023© Reuters

In their way stand a Hearts team who will bid to avenge that 2022 final defeat and move closer to a first Scottish Cup title since 2012 and a ninth in their history.

The Edinburgh outfit also fell short at the hands of Rangers in the semi-finals of this year's Scottish League Cup, falling to a 3-1 defeat in Glasgow with Lawrence Shankland's goal coming too late to spark a turnaround.

The Jam Tarts have also now made their way to the final four of Scotland's premier domestic cup by firstly beating The Spartans and Airdrieonians in the fourth and fifth rounds respectively, before most recently travelling to Greenock Morton for a quarter-final tie in March and prevailing in a narrow victory with Kenneth Vargas netting the only goal of the game in the final five minutes.

Steven Naismith's side now return to cup action on the back of consecutive league wins to move 11 points clear in third spot in the Scottish Premiership ahead of the split of the division into groups, most recently coming from 2-0 down to beat Livingston 4-2 at Tynecastle Park on Saturday, with Jorge Grant, Yutaro Oda, Cammy Devlin and Lawrence Shankland all scoring in the first half.

Now heading back to Hampden Park for the second time this season, Hearts will be keen to end their recent run of cup misfortunes against Rangers, and a streak of four straight defeats to them this term, and punch their ticket to the final in May with a victory on Sunday.

Rangers Scottish Cup form:

Rangers form (all competitions):

Hearts Scottish Cup form:

Hearts form (all competitions):

Team News

Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates scoring their second goal on February 18, 2024© Reuters

Rangers continue to contend with several injuries ahead of Sunday's semi-final, as midfielders Oscar Cortes, Mohamed Diomande and Ryan Jack are set to remain confined to the treatment room alongside defender Ridvan Yilmaz and forward Danilo.

Philippe Clement may opt to make several changes after their disappointing goalless draw away at Ross County last time out, with Rabbi Matondo, Ross McCausland and Cyriel Dessers all fighting to come into the attacking areas of their 4-2-3-1 shape, after Abdallah Sima, Todd Cantwell and Fabio Silva lined up in support of Kemar Roofe in midweek.

Behind them, Kieran Dowell and Nicolas Raskin will fight to displace Tom Lawrence and John Lundstram in the engine room, while Connor Goldson and former Hearts man John Souttar are bound to continue their partnership at the heart of a back four with right-back James Tavernier again topping his side's scoring charts on 24 goals for the season across all competitions.

Hearts are also missing several key men through injuries ahead of the weekend, with Craig Halkett, Calem Nieuwenhof, Peter Haring and Liam Boyce all remaining out of action.

Having only previously featured in their Scottish Cup outings this term after a long injury layoff, veteran goalkeeper Craig Gordon earned a first league start of the season on Saturday, getting the nod over Zander Clark, and he will continue between the sticks behind an unchanged back four of Nathaniel Atkinson, Frankie Kent, Kye Rowles and Alex Cochrane.

Talismanic forward Lawrence Shankland will again lead the line, having netted 28 goals across all competitions so far this term, including a league-high tally of 21 Premiership goals, while Kenneth Vargas and Alan Forrest will both fight to come back into a supporting unit after Yutaro Oda and Barrie McKay operated on the flanks against Livingston at the weekend.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Sterling; Lawrence, Raskin; Sima, Silva, Matondo; Dessers

Hearts possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Atkinson, Rowles, Kent, Cochrane; Baningime, Devlin; Oda, Grant, Vargas; Shankland

SM words green background

We say: Rangers 2-1 Hearts

We expect a tight encounter in this Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday, with Hearts vying to end a run of pain in recent meetings with Rangers and squaring off against a wounded outfit.

Nonetheless, Clement's men do boast more quality all over the pitch and should again have what it takes to get past the Edinburgh outfit and reach another domestic final.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Rangers manager Philippe Clement on February 6, 2024
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