Neil Lennon and Pedro Caixinha’s teams have remarkably similar records after 2 games, both won their opening game in the Premiership and easily dispatched their Betfred opposition 5-0 and 6-0 respectively.
The two teams will be fighting it out for European places in May and this match shapes as a 6 pointer, it also shapes as the beginning of a spasm of joy or a glimpse into the abyss for Sevco.
If they beat the Green Hordes this weekend at Ibrox then with the Billy Boys blaring, the fans of the Newco will have found their saviour.
All will be well, the DR and ET will go into overdrive, WATP being painted on the walls will have glossed over the cracks in the faded facade that is The Rangers.
Should Neil Lennon’s charges come back from Mordor with so little as a point then the recriminations will begin, the blame game will start and the wheels will begin to fall off.
All the pressure is on Pedro here, it would be a major feat for Hibs to be promoted and then beat the highest spending club in the country.
The team that came 3rd last year has put over £7 million into their squad for a return of being horsed out of Europe, winning a game by a penalty and locking horns with old friends who packed a duvet for the match.
Don’t be fooled, there are plenty of Skelpers in the Hibees dressing room Anthony Stokes among them, his return to action vs the Newco will be of boos every time he touches the ball and hopefully silence after he scores.
Neil Lennon too will get a warm welcome by the bigots, it won’t matter if someone jumps the fence and grabs him, throws a battery at him or coins for that matter, it didn’t last time Celtic went there after all.
This match should be heavily scrutinized by the game’s administrators, if Celtic are to be held in breach of codes of conduct for banners and singing then the same should be appropriate for the 5-year-old club’s fans.
With the DR setting up hotlines to call Celtic fans ‘Paranoid’ at the latest bout of Honest Mistakes it is time they provide some independent analysis on incidents of hand ball in the box going unpunished but falling Rangers players being awarded penalties before they hit the floor.
Somehow I don’t think any of us think that is going to happen.
Neil Lennon has been to Ibrox before, he hates the place, he hates Them, they hate him back and we all know this.
If Lenny can beat Sevco, dodge the cheats with whistles and escape without being assaulted it will be a major effort, one which will go down as the beginning of the end for Pedro’s “Rangers Revolution.”