Hearts and Rangers meet at Tynecastle on Saturday with their Scottish Premiership match acting as a dress rehearsal for next week’s Scottish Cup final.
While the hosts have already secured their third position, runners-up Rangers are playing their final game before Wednesday’s Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Although Celtic were confirmed as champions on Wednesday, Rangers have been focusing elsewhere since reaching the Europa League final last week.
On the positive, Rangers still fulfilled their end of the bargain, claiming home wins over Dundee United and Ross County to keep Celtic on toes until their draw with the Terrors at Tannadice.
However, it is now time for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side to switch back on, with this game coming exactly a week before the two teams meet in the Scottish Cup final.
Like in the previous two games, Van Bronckhorst has tried to keep his players as fresh as possible, but there will also be spots available in one of the two showpiece games for the players who take to the pitch at the weekend.
Hearts’ manager Robbie Neilson would have only been left impressed with the longevity of his side this season, with the Jam Tarts long been confirmed in third position in their first year back in the top tier.
That considered, he would not have necessarily anticipated a three-game winless run heading into their double-header with Rangers, the run starting with a goalless draw at home to Ross County.
Although a heavy defeat at Celtic was perhaps half-envisaged, Hearts again went down on Wednesday as they lost 2-1 at Motherwell.
Neilson will be greatful of another game to come before trying to win a piece of domestic silverware against the odds, but a balance should be found on Saturday with more important occasions around the corner.
Hearts vs Rangers head to head
The two teams have previously met on 96 occasions across all competitions, where Rangers have claimed 63 victories while Hearts have won 17, and they have drawn in 16. Hearts have scored 78 goals and conceded 183. In their last five meetings, both have won twice while they have drawn once.
Hearts 2-1 Rangers 26/01/20
Hearts 1-0 Rangers 29/02/20
Rangers 1-1 Hearts 16/10/21
Hearts 0-2 Rangers 12/12/21
Rangers 5-0 Hearts 06/02/22
Hearts latest home form
Hearts have recently been on a good run of form at home, having been unbeaten in their seven most recent matches. They played out a goalless draw with Ross County in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored 11 goals and conceded four.
Hearts 4-2 St. Mirren 12/03/22
Hearts 2-0 Livingston 19/03/22
Hearts 3-1 Hibernian 09/04/22
Hearts 2-1 Hibernian 16/04/22
Hearts 0-0 Ross County 30/04/22
Hearts latest away form
Hearts have recently been on a relatively poor run of form on the road, having lost each of their two most recent matches. Their last away victory came 3-2 over Dundee United on April 24 in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored eight goals and conceded 11.
Dundee United 2-2 Hearts 05/03/22
Ross County 1-1 Hearts 02/04/22
Dundee United 2-3 Hearts 24/04/22
Celtic 4-1 Hearts 07/05/22
Motherwell 2-1 Hearts 11/05/22
Rangers latest home form
Rangers have recently been on a good run of form at home, having won each of their four most recent matches. Their last home defeat came on April 3 when they lost 2-1 to Celtic in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored 13 goals and conceded five.
Rangers 1-2 Celtic 03/04/22
Rangers (E)3-1 Sporting Braga 14/04/22
Rangers 3-1 RB Leipzig 05/05/22
Rangers 2-0 Dundee United 08/05/22
Rangers 4-1 Ross County 11/05/22
Rangers latest away form
Rangers have recently been on a relatively good run of form on the road, having lost just one of their five most recent matches. They lost 1-0 to RB Leipzig on April 28 in the Europa League. In their last five matches, they have scored 10 goals and conceded four.
St. Mirren 0-4 Rangers 10/04/22
Celtic 1-2(E) Rangers 17/04/22
Motherwell 1-3 Rangers 23/04/22
RB Leipzig 1-0 Rangers 28/04/22
Celtic 1-1 Rangers 01/05/22
Toby Sibbick will sit out this contest with the knee injury he sustained on Wednesday, while Stephen Kingsley is in line to return to the starting lineup.
Ellis Simms and Cameron Devlin could be restored to the attack and midfield respectively, with Craig Gordon and John Souttar likely to be recalled.
Alex Lowry and Scott Wright are likely to retain their spots, while Kemar Roofe could be an outsider to feature in that showdown due to a knee injury.
Charlie McCann and Alex Devine could be given chances in the full-back roles, but Aaron Ramsey may be limited to game time from the bench.
Prediction and Odds
With future matches in mind, there are chance that there will be several changes in both sides, although it remains unclear which side could be favourites.
While Rangers have dominated in the last two encounters between the two sides, Hearts are likely to stop that run of results with a draw.
Odds: 1 2.45 X 2.05 2 2.20
Hearts 0-0 Rangers
Hearts 1-1 Rangers
Hearts 2-2 Rangers
Hearts 1-0 Rangers
Hearts 1-2 Rangers