Rangers will travel to the Easter Road Stadium to face Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership. They will look to make it four wins in a row in the league and this will put pressure on Celtic, who are playing Hearts on Sunday. Both teams have played on the attacking side of the football, and earning three points won’t be easy for Rangers.
The hosts currently sit in the sixth position with four points in three games. Rangers, on the other hand, are unbeaten in the league and are just behind Celtic in the league table. Both teams faced each other thrice in the league last season, and Rangers had the upper hand with three wins.
Rangers sit second in the league table behind Celtic. Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men have scored eight goals with an average xG rate of 2.09 and have only conceded once in the league.
Attack! Attack! Attack!
Hibernian averaged 30.33 positional attacks in the last three matches. Of these 30 attacks, around five ended with a shot towards the opposition goal. The home team also has an average of 13.7 shots per match but has only hit the target three times per match. The only concern for the manager is that his team has a low shot accuracy rate. One of the main reasons behind their poor shot accuracy rate is the ten shots off target in the first match. The above viz shows the shot zones and xG rate from the last match. Hibernian hit the target four times.
Rangers have a high positional attack rate of 45.67 per 90 minutes, with 11 shots attempted. Rangers have shown a lot of creativity from the centre as well as from the flanks. The Gers averaged 18.67 shots per match, with around six shots on target per match. They have been clinical with their finishing. In the last match, Rangers scored all four goals from inside the penalty box. They are not afraid of attempting long-range shots, and their players are also capable of converting these chances.
Both these teams will look to put pressure on the opposition and create as many chances as they can.
Hibernian’s tactical changes
Hibernian have been pretty effective with their change in formation in the last three matches. The above viz shows the tactical changes made by the manager in Hibernian’s second match of the season. They started the match in a 4-1-4-1 formation and ended the match in a 4-2-2-2 formation. This change in the formation of the team pressurised the opposition, and they ended up scoring a goal in the dying minutes of the match. Hibernian have also played in a 4-2-3-1, 3-4-1-2 and 4-4-2 formation. Rangers will be ready for these changes and try to keep a clean sheet.
Recoveries in attacking zones
The main reason behind Rangers’ constant pressure is their ability to recover the ball in dangerous areas. On average, the Gers make around 23 recoveries in the attacking third and around 40 recoveries in the middle third. This is due to their dominance in the middle and attacking third. Hibernian, on the other hand, average around 15 recoveries in the attacking third and around 35 recoveries in the middle third. This could turn out to be a midfield battle between the two teams.
Hibernian’s Demetri Mitchell and Lewis Stevenson are expected to remain sidelined with hamstring injuries. Kyle Magennis is nearing a return to the team. Kevin Nisbet will be another notable absentee. He damaged his ACL and meniscus last March and is expected to remain out.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst will make a few changes to the starting XI due to the Rangers’ busy schedule. Alfredo Morelos might lead the line for the first time this season. Antonio Colak has played all the games and is likely to be rested for the midweek fixture against PSV.
Rangers will face one of the toughest seasons of their Scottish Premiership 2022/23 campaign. They face a Hibernian side that poses an attacking threat. Their tactical changes can trouble Rangers, especially in the second half. However, Rangers remain the favourites to win this match with their attacking threat and ability to break the opposition’s defence.
Visuals via Wyscout