Rangers can bury Hearts' title-chances at Tynecastle
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers can bury Hearts' title-chances at Tynecastle

Rangers v Hearts was one of the most talked about clashes of the season last month.

Yet, when it all came down to it, Rangers were far too strong for the Jambos. The energy that Steven Gerrard’s men displayed on the pitch was fantastic, as they pressed Hearts high and put them under pressure.

It was a bit anti-climactic in truth. Everyone expected Hearts to put up a better fight than they did, but they just didn’t have it in them.

Now, another clash between the pair awaits on December 2nd at Tynecastle. Given how recent results have went between the two clubs, this is a real chance for the Gers to hammer the final nail in Hearts’ title-coffin.

Rangers’ win over Hearts last month was easier than expected (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Since losing to Rangers, Craig Levein’s side have suffered badly. Two damaging defeats to Celtic have been backed up by a 1-0 home loss to Kilmarnock. Confidence is slowly draining from Gorgie, as Rangers start to come out as the main threat to Celtic.

Granted, Hearts are actually still ahead of Rangers by two points. Gerrard’s men, however, have a game in hand. Added to that, Celtic could go three points clear of them if they also win their game in hand.

It’s been a miserable few weeks for Levein and his charges. Rangers, however, have to see this demise as a real opportunity. When the two sides meet at Tynecastle, a win for Rangers would do more than just add points on to the league table. It would symbolise so much more than that.

Could Hearts deal with the pressure of catch-up?

Almost instantaneously, questions would be asked of Hearts’ bottle. They will have managed to lose four times to the Old Firm in their last four matches against them. It’s certainly not title-contention form.

Going behind by a few points to both of the Old Firm would be so demoralising for a Hearts side who really had to stay ahead of the pack as long as they could. They knew that as soon as they dropped behind in the table, it would be difficult to play catch-up.

Craig Levein’s side have struggled in recent weeks to live up to their early-season standards (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

A Rangers win at Tynecastle would allow both Old Firm teams to stretch even further away from Levein’s side. Seeing them come back from a blow like that to challenge would be extremely surprising.

Nobody can deny injuries have taken their tole at Tynecastle. Losing both Steven Naismith and Uche Ikpeazu has taken a lot of firepower from Hearts. Then, down the other side, both Christophe Berra and John Souttar suffered knocks. Considering that’s Hearts’ first-choice centre-back pairing, it’s cruel on them.

But football is a game where you have to strike whilst the iron is hot. Gerrard needs to remind his players of that when they face the Jambos at Tynecastle.

A win for Hearts pulls them right back into it. A win for Rangers and that should spell the end of it.