By Jack Cunningham

11th Dec, 2021 | 8:00am

Hearts Super Fans preview Rangers game

This is part of a regular series from our panel of Super Fans on upcoming Rangers games. Ahead of Rangers’ game against Hearts in the SPFL, we caught up with Hearts Super Fans Liam from the @ThisMyStoryPod and @adamkendo from the @perthtopaisley podcast.

Rangers face Hearts on Sunday as Giovanni van Bronckhorst looks to keep up his 100% record in the Scottish Premiership.

The Edinburgh-based side have made a solid start to the season and sit in third place and sealed a draw at Ibrox earlier in the campaign.

Hearts are only five points behind Celtic, which indicates how positive this season has been for the Jam Tarts in many ways.

It will be a tough game for the Bears on Sunday; there is no doubt about that, and ahead of the game, we caught up with two Hearts Super Fans.

What did you make of the first game?

Liam: First Rangers game. Hearts started too slow, coupled with the fact that Rangers started very well. Rangers are always going to dominate possession at home, so you expect to be under the cosh for long spells. We, however, never matched Rangers’ aggression and tempo or couldn’t match it and, for long spells of the first half, basically couldn’t get out. Nothing you can really do about the opening goal, yeah we could’ve defended better, but it’s a hell of a strike to beat Gordon from that range. I thought the second half we looked a lot brighter and started to ask Rangers questions. We open up, and it gives Rangers space to exploit, leading to a few chances beginning to open up in the game. Gordon and McGregor showed why they are the best two keepers in Britain. It feels like we snatch a point due to the time of the goal etc., but I think on reflection, a draw was a fair result when you take into consideration the quality of chances created.

AK: First game was an absolute smash and grab from a Hearts perspective.

What have you made of Rangers this season?

Liam: What have I made of the season? As a Hearts fan looking in on Rangers, I think you’ve been below the standards you set last year but sit four points clear, so that has to be massively pleasing as a Rangers fan. Gerrard kept or showed too much loyalty to players that should’ve been moved on or let go. Goldson, Barisic, Tav, Kent, Kamara etc., are all probably a level below the heights they hit last season. Also, find it strange how often Gerrard changed keeper. Rangers last season were built on a solid defence, by far the best in the league, so I don’t understand the swapping of the keeper. Morelos hasn’t looked his usual self either, and you can see that in his goal return.

AK: Lots has been said about Rangers supposedly being sluggish or failing to get going, but if that’s the case and they’re top of the league, then it can’t be as much of a crisis as some make out?

What have you made of Hearts’ season?

Liam: Hearts. Well, we’ve had a strange season. We’ve lost the lead in four matches this season, costing us nine points. If we’d held that lead, we’d be closer to Rangers. It’s very frustrating when you look at who we’ve dropped points to. Ross County, Hibs, Aberdeen, Dundee, St Johnstone and Motherwell. All games we could’ve/should’ve won. I know that’s all if my aunty had you know what’s, but it is true. If we sort out our away form, then I think we will be there or thereabouts in terms of 2nd and 3rd. Aberdeen are a shambles, as are Hibs, 3rd feels like ours to throw away.

AK: In terms of Hearts, we’re pretty pleased on the whole. There have been games where we’ve been poor and got results alongside games we’ve played well and haven’t got what we deserved, but happy, all things considered!

Who worries you on the Rangers team?

AK: Joe Aribo worries me in the Rangers side; I believe he’s getting better and better every week and think he’s destined to move down south at some stage. Albeit if CL football is secured, that could tempt him for another year or two!

Who should Rangers be worried about in the Hearts team?

Liam: I think Rangers will be looking out for Boyce and McKay. They are starting to forge a really good/strong understanding between them. McKay needs a goal; he has everything else in his locker, just lacks goals, which you will know all about. Cochrane and Taylor Moore are very handy wing-backs for us, and Kingsley is by far our biggest threat come set plays.

AK: Rangers should be worried about Liam Boyce, back on the goal trail last week and has a history in this exact fixture! Barrie McKay also potentially has a point to prove and has been superb since signing on a free transfer for the Jambos.

If you could sign anyone from Rangers, who would it be?

Liam: I am biased as Scotty Arf is one of my best pals, and it’s always been a dream of mine to see him in maroon. It’s no coincidence either that he has featured heavily under Gio, and your performances have improved. He makes such intelligent runs; he makes runs that no other midfielder at Rangers makes. He is very useful with the ball and is selfless with his energy and movement. He’ll happily sprint into the corner knowing he won’t get the ball, but he knows a defender will have to go with him etc. He’s a very good player.

AK: I’d love to sign Nathan Patterson (on a wee loan deal to get game time), given we need sufficient cover for Michael Smith and given I’m a Scotland fan, I want to see the lad continue to develop and maximise his potential.

Who will win the league?

Liam: I still fancy Rangers to win the league but think Celtic are a very, very good side. If they invest in the January window, then I think it’ll be a very tight title race.

AK: Believe Rangers will win the league at this current minute in time. However, January will have a big bearing on both the Old Firm, so it’s tricky to say. I said Rangers at the start of the season, and I’ll stick with that at present.

Score prediction?

Liam: I think Sunday will be 2-2. A very entertaining, attacking game. Great atmosphere with the full house as well.

AK: I think Hearts are good enough to get something, a decent recent record against the Gers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another 1-1, but I’ll say 2-1 Hearts; why not!

We would like to thank our two Hearts Super Fans, and it is clear that they expect a tough game on Sunday.

However, it should be entertaining, which is all we can ask for.

In other Rangers news, Charlie Adam has made his prediction for the Hearts match.