Rangers will be Ian Cathro’s first test as new manager of Hearts at Ibrox tomorrow in the Premiership.
Cathro and assistant manager Austin MacPhee are not planning sweeping changes to team’s playing style after having only having had a week to implement their ideas and gain a full understanding of the players at the club.
Winger Sam Nicolson is the only absentee for the Jambos as he continues to recover from knee surgery, but he is on the way back to full fitness and is expected to begin training at the beginning of next year.
Faycal Rherras, somewhat of a cult hero for Hearts fans after four goalline clearances in two games, is a certainty to start, while Igor Rossi, who limped off during the 2-2 draw with Ross County in Dingwall, has been declared fit by Cathro and will start at centre-back next to John Souttar.
Mark Warbuton will be without midfielder Josh Windass who has a hamstring injury, and long-term absentee Jordan Rossiter has suffered another set-back to his recovery from a calf injury which has forced the Rangers manager to once again revise the ex-Liverpool midfielder’s return to the side.
Clint Hill is the only other unavailable player for Rangers after his sending off against Aberdeen last weekend. Former Hearts captain Danny Wilson is expected to replace the 35-year-old in midfield.
Hearts are two points behind second-placed Rangers, but if Hearts beat Rangers and third-placed Aberdeen fail to beat St Johnstone at Pittodrie, they will leapfrog them into second place.