By News Team
Last Updated: 19th May 2022
After Rangers’ heart-breaking defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa league final, can they bounce-back to win their first Scottish Cup in 13 years. Or will Hearts capitalise on an emotionally depleted Rangers side?
Here is our preview.
Can Rangers put their Europa League woes behind them?
Ahead of the Scottish cup final, a lot of questions will be posed about Rangers’ mentality after losing out on historic European glory against Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties. Although they performed admirably in Europe this season, defeat in the final will inevitably be a devastating blow for the Ibrox side.
Rangers won their first Scottish Premiership title since the 2010/11 season last year, denying their bitter rivals Celtic a 10th consecutive league win. They have been unable to replicate their league successes this season but have outperformed their Old Firm rivals in Europe and the domestic cup.
With comfortable wins in the fourth and fifth round against Stirling Albion and Annan Athletic, Rangers met their first real test in the quarter-finals against fellow Scottish Premiership side Dundee. However, Dundee had little to offer, not registering a single shot on target, with a penalty from the Europa League’s top scorer James Tavernier helping Rangers to a comfortable 3-0 victory. In the semi-finals, the Gers met Celtic at Hampden Park, coming from behind in the 78th minute to make the game 1-1, sending it to extra time. An own goal from Carl Starfelt was enough to send Rangers to the final, winning an Old Firm derby semi-final which is always about more than football.
Rangers go into this final as favourites, priced at 1/2 to win over 90 minutes and 1/4 to lift the trophy. However, their penalty shootout defeat in the Europa League final will surely be playing on their mind, which might provide an opportunity for Hearts to produce an upset.
The Ibrox side have found the net 18 times in their last seven games, with goals seeming like an inevitable outcome for this final. They are priced at 2/5 to score first and 11/10 to score three or more goals.
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Will Hearts deny Rangers’ last opportunity for silverware this season
Hearts have won the Scottish cup more recently than Rangers, defeating Edinburgh rivals Hibernian in 2012, the year Rangers went into administration. They finished third in the Scottish Premiership this season, their best performance since 2016, only one place behind Rangers but some-way off in terms of points.
The final matchday of the league saw Hearts and Rangers face-off at Tynecastle Stadium in a preview of the cup final, a game that Rangers won 3-1. Coming off the back of three defeats in their last three games, Hearts will be desperate to put this poor run of form behind them in their biggest game of the season.
Although they are the underdogs priced at 11/4 to lift the trophy, they have already been victorious in a penalty shootout this season, and so may try to force spot kicks after seeing Rangers lose in this fashion on Wednesday. They are priced at 16/1 to win on penalties with the game being priced at 7/1 to be decided from the spot.
Given Rangers’ success in Europe and domestically this season, they are justifiably tipped as the favourites to lift the trophy. However, Europa League woes will be fresh in their mind giving Hearts the potential to capitalise on an emotionally drained Rangers team.