Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SPL Tonight: Kilmarnock v Hearts

Kilmarnock v Hearts

Two of this season’s SPL’s success stories go head to head. Big game for Hearts this as they look to pick themselves up from their Scottish Cup disappointment before a potentially season defining double header against the Old Firm.

Jim Jefferies’ anger at the defeat to St Johnstone must have been partly fuelled by his frustration that this could be a team on the verge of achieving something special. What they can’t afford is too many slip ups, too many bad performances.

A tough game in store tonight though against a Kilmarnock side who will have their own frustrations at being brushed aside by Rangers in the Cup and then losing a late equaliser to St Johnstone at the weekend.

Hearts are nine games undefeated in the league since Kilmarnock rolled them over 3-0 at Tynecastle. Killie themselves are in the middle of a six game unbeaten run in the league.

A big game between two form teams. Could be a very interesting game this one. I’ll back Hearts to take the points and set themselves up for the challenges to come. Away win.

Rangers v Inverness

Terry Butcher was less than pleased at the scheduling of this game but Rangers, apparently now relieved of the services of a Bursapor bound Kenny Miller might not be relishing the visit of an Inverness side that have won plaudits aplenty since their SPL return.

There were signs over the Christmas period that Inverness were going off the boil a bit and it's now seven games since they beat SPL opposition, although that run includes draws with Rangers, Celtic and Hearts.

Rangers were impressive in demolishing Kilmarnock in the Cup and made short work of Hamilton on Saturday. A fourth home game in a row gives them the chance to move just two points behind Celtic with two games in hand.

I’d expect Butcher to translate his anger into another obdurate display but I’m not sure that will be enough. Rangers to win and set up a rather tasty old affair at Tynecastle on Saturday lunchtime.

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