This will be Hibernian’s first match at Easter Road since the passing of the club’s much-loved owner Ron Gordon, with a tribute planned on what is expected to be an emotional night.
A section of Rangers fans punctuated a minute’s applause for Gordon which was held prior to the club’s Scottish League Cup final against Celtic last month – this was received poorly by many Hibs fans and adds an extra layer of tension when these sides convene in Edinburgh this Wednesday.
Hibs managerLee Johnson used Gordon’s death as motivation after Hibs shippedJoel Nouble’s ninth-minute opener last weekend, inspiring his side to a comfortable 4-1 victory aided by a second-half red card for Livingston’s Jack Fitzwater.
While Kevin Nisbet is eased back from injury, Elie Youan filled the striker’s boots with a brace while the contest was still numerically even.
Youan has now scored five goals in his last five games for Hibs, flourishing while floating between the lines as his side extended their unbeaten sequence to seven Premiership matches.
Hibernian’s arch-rivals Hearts were the last side to beat them in the top flight at the start of January – Rangers know the feeling of being undone by their city neighbours all too well; Michael Beale has failed to win just two of his 16 matches as Gers manager, both were against Celtic.
Rangers raced into a 3-0 lead by half time against Kilmarnock last Saturday, showing few signs of any hangover from the League Cup final defeat to the other half of the Old Firm six days before.
However, Beale’s side failed to replicate that intensity after the interval, shipping a consolation to Jeriel Dorsett after an hour as a banner demanding “change” was unveiled in the home end.
Hibs have scored eight goals without conceding across their last two home fixtures but have not beaten Rangers at Easter Road since 2016.
Hibernian recently lost veteran winger Aiden McGeady to a hamstring injury for the rest of the season, which may signal the end of the 36-year-old’s professional career entirely
Martin Boyle has also been ruled out until next term, while Rocky Bushiri is not expected back from a broken ankle until April at the earliest.Harry McKirdy is suffering from a problem in the same area and remains a doubt alongside midfielders Jake Doyle-Hayes and Joe Newell.