How will the Championship title race between Rangers and Hibs look come the end of Decemeber?

Rangers will still be in pole position, says Chris Jack

AFTER seeing their advantage at the top of the table steadily eroded in the last few weeks, Rangers were able to take a step in the right direction on Tuesday night as they beat Dumbarton 4-0 at Ibrox.

Mark Warburton’s side went to Easter Road a month ago aiming to move eleven points clear in the title race, but defeat to Hibs, who then won their game in hand, and a draw with Livingston has seen the gap cut considerably.

The Championship, of course, can’t be won or lost in December, but the coming few weeks are significant for Rangers and if there is plenty of festive cheer at Ibrox then the Light Blues could be celebrating come the end of the campaign.

Glasgow Times: 01/12/15 LADBROKES CHAMPIONSHIP .  RANGERS v DUMBARTON .  IBROX - GLASGOW .  Rangers Manager Mark Warburton gives out instructions. (48132230)

The showdown with Alan Stubbs’ side on December 28 is shaping up to be one of the games of the season so far in Scottish football but Rangers can’t afford to lose their focus between now and then.

Victory over the Sons was the ideal start to a key run of fixtures but the trips to Raith and Falkirk, either side of a home tie with Morton next weekend, are far from easy and Warburton’s side will have to be on their game to avoid any slip-ups.

As for Hibs, they are away to Morton this weekend and then host the Bairns and Queen of the South on successive Saturday’s before they gear up for the journey to Ibrox and the final fixture of 2015.

Glasgow Times: Rangers' Martyn Waghorn celebrates after giving his side the 2-0 lead

When you consider the run of form the Capital club are in at present, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were to take nine points from nine and head into the Gers clash high in confidence.

No matter what they do, Rangers know that if they win their games then they will go into that fixture with a lead in the title race and a chance to extend the gap to at least six points.

Glasgow Times: Rangers manager Mark Warburton

The Gers have had to dig deep to get the wins on the board in recent weeks and there is no reason why they can’t end the month with five wins from five.

That would put them in pole position for a Premiership place. The finishing line is still some way in the distance, though.


No guarantees the Gers will be top of the tree this Christmas, says Neil Cameron

RANGERS had hoped that the Championship race would be over by Christmas.

But like any great wars, or intriguing title challenges, this is rarely the case and so it is for the 2015/16 season.

I would not even put the family fortune, all five shiny pennies of it, on Mark Warburton’s side being top when the festivities are over. Some change from a few weeks ago.

Glasgow Times:

Saturday’s trip to Stark’s Park is a test so, too, the game at Falkirk in the not-so-distant future, and then Hibs are late Crimble visitors to Govan. Points could be easily dropped so any sober Gers supporter will realise that being top when 2016 says hello is no guarantee.

It’s going to be interesting if nothing else.

Rangers haven’t done much wrong, as it happens. It’s just that Hibernian are on a great run, while Falkirk are refusing to go away.

Raith, Saturday’s opponents, are not going to win anything, but they are a half-decent side and are good enough to get at least a draw against the men from Ibrox.

Glasgow Times: 01/11/15 LADBROKES CHAMPIONSHIP .  HIBERNIAN v RANGERS .  EAST ROAD STADIUM - EDINBURGH .  Hibernian Manager Alan Stubbs. (44534662)

I have always said that I thought Rangers would win the league and while they are not quite as clear away at the top as many of us thought, they remain favourties.

But would it surprise me if Hibs were top or at the very least a point or two away – a situation which would make what does and does not happen during the transfer window all the more vital – when this year becomes the next one? Not at all.

Glasgow Times:

What has to be said is that if Hibs are top then somehow Rangers will have to strengthen – and I wouldn’t put one penny on that happening.

However, if Rangers can emerge from this run of games and enter 2016 leading the Championship and with a bit of space between them and the rest, they are going to take some stopping.