Lawrence Shankland will be the best striker on the pitch when Rangers travel to Tynecastle on Wednesday with neither Cyriel Dessers nor Danilo ‘at his level just now’.
That is the view of Ryan Stevenson, the former Heart of Midlothian ace backing Steven Naismith’s in-form side to pick up a statement win over Rangers and cement their place in the top-three of the Scottish Premiership.
The last time Hearts tasted victory over the Glasgow giants in league action, Jermain Defoe was leading the line for Rangers, flanked by Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent. Sheyi Ojo came off the bench in that 2-1 defeat.
It’s all change at Ibrox these days, of course. And while Danilo is impressing and Cyriel Dessers is starting to make his mark after a fraught start, Stevenson insists that – no matter who Philippe Clement fields in attack – the best forward on the pitch will be wearing raspberry jam-maroon on Wednesday night.
Rangers take on Hearts in midweek
“Hearts are the third biggest club in Scotland. They’re now sitting there again in the table and it’s time to build on that,” Stevenson, who started his career at Tynecastle and had three separate spells at the club, tells the Daily Record.
“They have to get at Rangers. They can’t show too much respect. The fans want to see them go hell for leather, a good old blood and thunder approach.
“Get down the side of them, get crosses in the box, supply Lawrence Shankland with chances. Therein lies the key. All eyes will be on Shankland given the rumours linking him with Ibrox. I wouldn’t be surprised if he bags a couple of goals.
“No disrespect but, if there’s one good striker on the park tomorrow, it’s Lawrence. I don’t think Rangers have any at his level just now.”
Lawrence Shankland in superb form
With 11 in all competitions, Shankland has almost as many goals on his own as Danilo and Dessers (12) have between them so far in 2023/24. Quite the statistic, when you consider that Shankland ace cost Hearts around £10 million less than Rangers paid for the former Feyenoord duo.