PREVIEW: HEARTS - RANGERS
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
Friday, January 21, 2011
Maurice Edu and Rangers return to work this weekend with a visit to Tynecastle Stadium to take on surprising Hearts in Scottish Premier League action.

Edu played the final ten minutes in Tuesday's 1-0 win over Inverness but should receive either a start from head coach Walter Smith or significant minutes off the bench versus the Edinburgh club.

Now that Scotland has thawed following the holiday freeze, Rangers have strung together three straight wins in all competitions over the course of the past eight days to keep themselves in line with Old Firm rivals Celtic.

The Hoops still own a two points advantage over the Light Blues in the SPL standings however Edu and company have two matches in hand.

The big news out of Ibrox this week is the departure of star striker Kenny Miller who will be joining Turkish club Bursaspor.

Miller leaves the Glasgow club having scored a whopping 21 goals on the season. The impetus will now be on Smith to find the right combination up front to generate more offense for the Light Blues.

Vladimir Weiss could be the man to step forward and assume that role as the Slovakian found the back of the net twice last week in a 4-0 win over Hamilton. Edu also added a goal late in that contest to cap off the victory.

Unlike most editions in the SPL for the past quarter century, the 2010-2011 campaign is shaping up to be a three-horse race as Hearts have thrown their hat into the title chase.

The Jambos have won nine of their last 10 SPL matches and are full of confidence heading into Saturday's contest against the two-time defending champions. They are seven points behind Celtic and five points behind Rangers in the standings.

Head coach Jim Jeffries will be hoping for a return of team leading scorer Kevin Kyle who has been sidelined with an injury.

The hosts boast one of the best defenses in the SPL having conceded only 19 goals will pose a big challenge for Edu and friends.

Sasa Papac is out for Rangers while Hearts will be missing Marius Zaliukas, Kevin Kyle, Calum Elliot, Andrew Driver and Rudi Skacel.
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