Pedro Caixinha and Rangers suffered a couple of piercing blows this week and it was no shock when the Ibrox club dispensed with his services on Thursday afternoon.
Alas, for the Light Blues, it might not be enough to stop another body blow coming at Tynecastle in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
Defeat to Motherwell in the League Cup semi-final on Sunday was a bitter pill for Caixinha and Rangers to swallow, denying them a shot at Celtic in next month’s Hampden decider.
On Wednesday evening, struggling Kilmarnock plundered a point in Govan, with Rangers having somehow gone from being awarded a last-minute penalty whilst leading 1-0, to having a man sent off for indiscipline, missing the spot-kick and conceding up the other end during what proved to be the final act of Caixinha’s reign in front of a frustrated Ibrox crowd.
That result was to be the death knell for a manager that was unable to string three wins together during his seven-month stay in Scotland.
Will Rangers players now be able to show the fight needed in Gorgie as Hearts sense blood? On Sunday, Motherwell stretched the rules to breaking point – and beyond – in serving it up to Rangers in a physical battle.
Hearts have won their previous two Tynecastle encounters against Rangers and, priced at 12/5 for this one, are the likeliest winners now given that they too are likely to set about winning this game with real purpose, determination and a willingness to push the boundaries.
Craig Levein could hardly have asked for a better fixture to fire his players up following their midweek Edinburgh derby loss at Hibs and with Rangers now positively in turmoil, Hearts will look to take full advantage.
Elsewhere this weekend, Dundee host Hamilton Accies and it might just be worth punting on the away side at a generous 53/20.
Hamilton have won a paltry two of their previous 25 away games in the Premiership and come into this fixture having lost five of their last six games, but these sides have met three times in 2017, with Accies winning all three, scoring nine times and conceding none.
They’ve got identical records after 11 games and so, given that recent head-to-head record, Hamilton appeal at that price.
After their League Cup win over Rangers, Motherwell also recorded an away win at Dundee in midweek but they might be vulnerable against a Hibs side boosted by their derby win on Tuesday.
Neil Lennon’s side has delivered excellent away-day showings at both Rangers and Celtic this season, and are 21/20 to win at Fir Park.
When these sides met last month, Hibs were in control at 2-0 before Louis Moult fired a late brace to rescue his team. Lennon will be hoping for better in Lanarkshire.
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