Hibernian V Rangers at Easter Road Stadium : Match Preview

By
19 April 2016
Hibernian V Rangers - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Mark Oxley back for Hibernian to face Rangers

Mark Oxley will return in goal for Hibernian when they face Rangers but head coach Alan Stubbs has stressed that Conrad Logan offers serious competition for his place.

Logan had a perfect debut on Saturday, making a string of saves and stopping two penalties in the shoot-out as Hibs beat Dundee United in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals.

And Oxley knows he will have to perform well when he returns from suspension against the Ladbrokes Championship title-winners at Easter Road on Wednesday.

Stubbs told Hibs TV: "Conrad's come on a short-term deal and we obviously know he is working his way back to full fitness. He came in and did really well, no one can argue with that, but Mark is my number one.

"But what Conrad has done is certainly provide real competition for places with Otso (Virtanen) for that number one. Competition for places is huge in any team.

"Conrad is chomping at Mark's heels, which is great that should spur Mark on, knowing that if his performances drop, Conrad and Otso are waiting in the wings to get an opportunity."

Hibs and Rangers meet for the fifth time this season and will cross swords again at Hampden after Mark Warburton's side overcame Celtic in the other semi-final.

The result means on-loan Celtic players Liam Henderson and Anthony Stokes can play in the final.

Farid El Alagui is expected to be out for about three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury at Hampden.

Liam Fontaine (thigh), Dylan McGeouch and Dan Carmichael (both groin) remain on the sidelines but James Keatings is back after a cup ban.

Rangers' Andy Halliday insists there will be no hard feelings if Hibernian snub calls for them to give Rangers a guard of honour on Wednesday night.

Ibrox supporters believe the Leith men should pay tribute to the newly-crowned Ladbrokes Championship winners by applauding them out as they run on to the Easter Road pitch.

But that might be a bitter pill to swallow for the Edinburgh side, especially with their promotion hopes now hanging in the balance.

However, Light Blues midfielder Halliday says there will be no row if the Hibees reject the request.

He said: "That's up to Hibs. I would like to think [they would] as obviously it's been part and parcel of football for a long time.

"But it's up to them. There will certainly be no hard feelings if they don't. It's completely up to them."

Rangers will welcome back wingers Billy King and Michael O'Halloran against Hibernian.

The match will be a dress rehearsal for next month's William Hill Scottish Cup final after the Ibrox men booked their place with a penalty shoot-out triumph over Celtic in the semi-finals.

They had to do it without cup-tied duo King and O'Halloran as well as injured forwards Martyn Waghorn (knee) and Harry Forrester (broken leg), who remain unavailable for the Easter Road clash alongside long-term absentee David Templeton (knee).

Rob Kiernan has been passed fit despite limping off with cramp just before Sunday's derby moved into extra-time.


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