Thursday, December 9, 2021

Prediction: Hamilton vs Rangers

Verdict: Rangers win and under 3.5 goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

With the chance to extend their buffer at the top of the Premiership, league leaders Rangers will make the trip to an empty New Douglas Park on Saturday evening.

Hamilton

Starting with the hosts, leaving it extremely late and snatching an 86th-minute winner away at Motherwell last weekend, there is no doubt that Hamilton will be desperate to simply build off of the victory at Fir Park. Collecting just three points over their opening four Premiership contests this year after just about managing to hold onto their top-flight status as last season’s campaign was brought to an early halt, Brian Rice’s men come under the real scrutiny for their back-to-back defeats against Ross County and St. Mirren earlier in the month. With many feeling that they’re set for another relegation scrap this time around, the Accies also hold a worrying record for their continued issues on home soil. Including those back-to-back defeats at New Douglas Park, Hamilton have managed to win just one of their previous eight home fixtures across all formats, a run that stems back to January 18th. Losing six of those contests, including a 4-1 drumming at the hands of Saturday’s guests in the FA Cup, Rice’s men certainly face an unenviable task this weekend.

Team News

Hamilton will once again be without midfielder Ronan Hughes who is still struggling with a hamstring problem.

While they might be hoping skipper Brian Easton can make his return next week, the 32-year-old will once again miss out on Saturday.

Rangers

As for the visitors, bouncing back from their stalemate away at Livingston a fortnight ago, Rangers really impressed with their routine 2-0 win away at Kilmarnock last weekend. With defending champions Celtic still playing catch up after their off-field issues at the start of the season, Steven Gerrard’s men are unbeaten in all five of their opening Premiership appearances and many feel they have a real chance at making a title charge this year. Already collecting 13 points out of a possible 15 and their 0-0 draw away at the Tony Macaroni Arena earlier in the month the only blip on their record, there is no doubt that the former England midfielder will be hugely excited by his side’s remarkable defensive record heading into September. Recording another clean sheet against Killie last time out and their goal difference already keeping them at the top of the table, the Blues are yet to concede a single goal on Premiership duties so far and should be confident of laying down another marker on their travels this weekend.

Team News

Steven Gerrard has confirmed that Alfredo Morelos could be restored to Rangers’ match-day squad after having his head turned by a potential move away from Scotland.

Coming off the bench last week, both Ianis Hagi and Scott Arfield could be in-line for a recall.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides last faced off back in March, Hamilton picked up what was a shock 1-0 win at Ibrox.
  • However, Rangers have won each of their other seven meetings against Saturday’s hosts.
  • Even more impressive, Steven Gerrard’s side have won each of their last 10 straight trips to New Douglas Park.
  • Hamilton have managed to win just one of their previous eight home fixtures across all formats, a run that stems back to January 18th.
  • Rangers have recorded a clean sheet in each of their opening five Premiership appearances this season.

Conclusion

While Hamilton might have managed to land a shock 1-0 win when the two sides faced off at Ibrox earlier in the year, it is hard to see anything other than a rampant Rangers extending on their purple patch this weekend. Collecting 13 points over their opening five appearances and recording a clean sheet in all of those outings, the league leaders will also be boosted by what is a rampant record at New Douglas Park. Picking up the victory in each of their last 10 straight trips to Hamilton, we’re backing another routine afternoon for Steven Gerrard’s men.

Verdict: Rangers win and under 3.5 goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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