Rangers must overcome Hearts’ on form former £9m man in title challenge
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers must overcome Hearts’ on form former £9m man in title challenge

Rangers are set to come against a resurgent Craig Gordon against Hearts at Tynecastle as the talented Scotland international goalie continues to defy the odds between the sticks.

Now 38, ex-Celtic keeper Craig Gordon has been one of the main contributors to Hearts’ impressive start to the season with his most recent performance against Livingston symbolic of his importance.

Hearts were not at their best against the Lions but eked out a 1-0 win courtesy of a Liam Boyce strike and a string of impressive Craig Gordon saves.

Craig Gordon is Hearts difference-maker

It’s not the first time the one time £9m Sunderland keeper has been a difference-maker for the Jambos and Rangers will need to be wary of his commanding presence going into the game.

So far this season, the Edinburgh-born goalie has been the stand-out keeper of the campaign and if Hearts are to take anything at Tynecastle, Craig Gordon will be central to it.

It’s not something Hearts take for granted, with manager Robbie Neilson previously claiming his 3rd place side are “lucky” to have the goalie.

Robbie Neilson waxes lyrical about Craig Gordon ahead of Rangers clash

“He’s just a top keeper,” said Neilson after the 1-0 win over Livi [Scotsman]. “Probably the biggest thing about him is his concentration levels,”

Craig Gordon has kept 10 clean sheets in 22 games this season, conceding 18 goals. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Because he’s been at such a high level, there can be 20 minutes when he’s not been doing anything and then he pulls off a world-class save.

“There are a lot of keepers who don’t have that ability, but we’re lucky to have him and hopefully he’s here for a number of years.”

Rangers have their own veteran stopper

Rangers too have their own veteran goalkeeper back in form, with Allan McGregor regaining his composure under Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

The 49-times capped ex-Scotland keeper was in inspired form against Sparta Prague in a 2-0 Europa League win at Ibrox whilst he pulled off some impressive stops against Livingston days later.

Allan McGregor and Craig Gordon have shared a healthy rivalry at club and international level throughout their careers. (Photo by Herman Dingler/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Just as it has been at various points throughout their careers, it may well be a battle between Allan McGregor and Craig Gordon to see who gets the bigger share of the spoils in Edinburgh.

Here’s how we’re tipping the Ibrox side to line up against the Jambos in Edinburgh ahead of a tough clash in the capital.