Rangers vs Hearts preview

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Updated: July 22, 2011

The Scottish Premier League begins in earnest on Saturday as Hearts travel to Ibrox to take on champions Glasgow Rangers.

Rangers have won the last three Scottish Premier League titles, bringing their total to 54, but Celtic begin the season as slight 8/11 favourites to claim the Scottish Premier League. The blue side of Glasgow, however, will be confident of adding another championship in Ally McCoist’s debut campaign.

Rangers ended last season in sensational form, winning the last four games while scoring 16 goals. Hearts, meanwhile, narrowly finished third last season. The Edinburgh club held a 16 point advantage over the fourth placed side at one stage, but Hearts drew five on the bounce and lost their last three matches to finish a mere four points ahead of the fourth placed finishers Dundee United.

Craig Whyte’s purchasing of the club was expected to see the Glasgow club enter the transfer market relatively often, but the Almeria’s Juan Manuel Ortiz was the only signing of note prior to Thursday.

An added spice was then added to the opening weekend on Thursday as Rangers beat Champions League deadline to sign Hearts defender Lee Wallace for £1.5m. The 23 year old had spent his whole career at Hearts and has been capped five times by Scotland. Rangers also announced that they have agreed terms with Alejandro Bedoya, who will join when his contract expires in January.

Jim Jeffries added to his squad during the summer with the signings of Jamie Hamill and Mehdi Taouil from Kilmarnock, John Sutton from Motherwell and St. Johnstone’s Danny Grainger. Ruben Palazuelos, Jamie Mole, Dawid Kucharski and Ismael Bouzid left the Edinburgh club.

Unsurprisingly, Rangers enter the match as 4//11 favourites, while Hearts are 8/1 to cause an upset.

Sportsnewsireland.com will have live score updates on all GAA Championship matches over the summer.

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