Rangers won’t have their star man Alfredo Morelos, who scored four goals against Killie last time out. Hamilton will be keeping an eye on the Dundee result as they may move away from the Lanarkshire club in the league at the weekend.
Hamilton v Rangers
Sunday 24th February, 12:15
New Douglas Park
Martin Canning’s side will want to use their win last week over St Johnstone as a way to turn a corner this season and to begin moving up the table. However with Rangers visiting on Sunday, that will be easier said than done. The home side have only picked up five wins in twenty-six matches and have racked up eighteen losses. A positive statistic, however, is the fact that Hamilton have performed marginally better when playing at home than they have away, as they have earnt three wins and eight losses in thirteen game played at home this season. Whereas away from home they’ve won only two matches and lost ten in thirteen away games.
A real issue that Accies have had this year is picking up clean sheets both home and away. In total they have only amassed three clean sheets all season with two of those being picked up at home. On average Hamilton score less than they concede as they score only 0.65 goals per game and concede 2.04 goals per game home and away. Things improve slightly at home as they score 0.92 goals per game and concede 1.85 goals per game.
Something that will help Accies come the end of the season will be their ability to get on the scoresheet whilst playing at home. Hamilton have only failed to score in 32% of their home games. This has contributed to Hamilton still having a chance of avoiding relegation despite being in the relegation play-off position in the league. Canning will be keen to vastly improve on their performance in the last home match against Rangers as the away side ran out 4-1 winners.
Rangers will be expecting to win this match and if they have any remaining title aspirations alive, they are obligated to. Currently Rangers are second in the league but are eight points adrift of their Glasgow rivals Celtic who are top of the league. They have the chance to reduce the gap on Sunday if only for a few hours before Celtic take the field against Motherwell.
Rangers will have to take on Hamilton without Alfredo Morelos who is suspended for the match. The Colombian scored against Hamilton in the last match here at New Douglas Park, Morelos has scored seven in his last three matches but without the striker, Rangers have had an issue getting goals. With Morelos present, Rangers have scored seventeen in their last five matches, however without him Rangers have only scored five in their last five matches with three of those being scored in one game and two of the matches ending goalless.
Rangers have rarely failed to score whilst playing away from home, with only three matches ending without a goal being scored by the Ibrox side. However away from home they have struggled to keep their opponents out. They have only picked up three clean sheets away from this season, leading to 62% of their away matches ending with both teams getting on the scoresheet. They have conceded at least a goal per game (1.08).
Due to picking up too many yellow cards, Hamilton may lose their key midfielder, Darian MacKinnon if he gets another yellow card. Accies have a tough tie at Pittodrie against Aberdeen in midweek, and for Hamilton to be successful in that match they will need MacKinnon available. Hamilton will still be missing Tom Taiwo who has been ruled out of Accies’ last three matches due to injury, Delphine Tshiembe will also be injured due to a long term injury picked up against Hearts last year.
Rangers will be without Morelos due to suspension. Dorrans and Murphy will still be unavailable due to long term knee injuries keeping them out of action. Eros Grezda is still recovering from an injury picked up in the winter break at the start of the year.
Without Morelos, Rangers’ attack becomes blunt with Jermain Defoe and Kyle Lafferty lacking match fitness due to a lack of playing time. As a result I would advise against going for a bet with multiple goals required for success. Rangers are 1/5 favourites to win the match, whereas Hamilton have odds of 12/1 to get a win. There is not much value to betting just a Rangers win, it would be more worthwhile to go with additional markets to add to the bet’s value.
I would recommend Rangers to win and over 1.5 goals to be scored which would get odds of 4/11. Another avenue to explore would be the Asian handicap markets. I would advise on a -1 handicap on a Rangers win which would get you odds of 4/6. I feel that Rangers winning by a two goals more feasible than winning by any other higher goal margin.
It is likely that Jermain Defoe will lead the line for Rangers. Due to this the likelihood of the prolific English striker getting on the scoresheet is very likely. For Jermain Defoe to score anytime you can get odds of around 8/15.
Jermain Defoe to score anytime (8/15)
Rangers to win and over 1.5 goals (4/11)
Rangers -1 (4/6)