Deja vu from last season with a Hibs v Rangers betting preview bringing up the curtain. The same scottish football fixture was the first game for both clubs last season with the only exception being the game was played at Ibrox. Will things be any different at Easter Road?
The sponsors of the Scottish Challenge Cup, Petrofac Training, must have been rubbing their hands at the repeat fixture. Rangers came out on top in that fixture after extra-time but there are a few caveats to think about before using that game as a guide for this one.
That was a new Hibs side with a new manager and a lot of new players trying to fit into the philosophy. They started slowly in many respects. This time around they are much more aligned with Alan Stubbs and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Hibs get off to a flyer, much like Hearts did last year.
It might sound surprising but the Rangers side that beat Hibs that day actually started well, winning 17 of their first 20 matches. The wheels did come off eventually as the strength of Hearts became evident and on and off field troubles took their toll.
This year it’s hard to know what to expect from Rangers in their current state. A lot of dross has exited stage left and been replaced with a little quality. But there hasn’t been an awful lot of it. The squad still looks thin on the ground.
New manager Mark Warburton has a lot of work still to do and a lot of expectation on his shoulders. How his players react to that remains to be seen but reports suggest encouraging signs from their pre-season friendly against Burnley.
The problem is that the Burnley match is the only thing anyone has anything to go by. Literally, they have played one meaningful match up to this point. Reports suggested that the Rangers players tired towards the end of the game and that’s got to be a worry leading up to the season opener.
The showdown has been supplemented by the will he won’t he Scott Allan sub-plot now too. Hibs announced today that they rejected a relatively small bid for their star midfielder from none other than Rangers, their biggest rivals for the season ahead.
It doesn’t look like a bid for him will be successful. It would be shortsighted of Hibs and lacking in ambition to sell him to Rangers for anything other than way above their valuation. Rangers right now don’t have bags of cash lying around to do that. It looks fair to assume that Allan won’t be joining Rangers, not this season at least.
Hibs v Rangers betting preview tips.
The bookies are split right down the middle here with most firms opening at 2.5(6/4) a piece for the win. There is a little extra value with Skybet who offer 2.62(13/8) for either side to win the match. Rangers backers will get the best value from Coral at 2.75(7/4).
Goals backers should be wary of the fact that only 2 of the 7 meetings last season saw +2.5 goals in ninety minutes. The first game at Ibrox finished 1-1 in normal time.
At a best price of 1.85(17/20) with McBookie and bet365 for +2.5 Match Goals you might be better served backing -2.5 Total Goals that pays 2.0(evens) with Coral. That’s a bet that may be worth cashing out for 65/70%+ of potential returns should you get the opportunity.
Rangers, if they start slowly, could find the goal trail hard to come by initially. Particularly as Hibs have retained the same back five from last season so are very settled.
If you must have a bet on the WDW market it could be advisable to wait until closer to kick off if you’re backing Hibernian. Rangers fans are famously loyal and will back their team time and time again. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see their price shorten a little and the Hibs price lengthen.
It’s unlikely to be dramatic but may have some bearing on returns.
Hibs v Rangers betting preview betting tips.
Under 2.5 Total Match Goals @ 2.0 with Coral