COMMENT By Emma Sanders

Rangers head into an important period of the 2016-17 Scottish Premiership campaign when they take on Hearts and Aberdeen.

Mark Warburton’s side are seemingly fighting for a second-place finish in the table because rivals Celtic look set to run away with the league title.

The Gers have been far from impressive and they have already dropped a number of points throughout the campaign, including two 0-0 draws against bottom-of-the-table Ross County.

They will now face one of the toughest periods of the season as they prepare to face Hearts twice in the next four weeks, as well as hosting Aberdeen on the opening weekend in December.

Their opponents currently sit in fourth and second place in the table respectively and present the biggest challenge for Rangers’ ambition of finishing in the runners-up spot this season.

Celtic have a commanding 10-point lead over Aberdeen so it’s likely to be a three-horse race in 2017 between Aberdeen, Hearts and Rangers and it’s crucial Warburton’s side make the most of their tough fixtures to give themselves a head start.

Just four points separate the trio so the three games against the Ibrox rivals could make a huge effect on the Premiership standings if Rangers can come through unscathed.

Rangers take on Patrick Thistle this Saturday and will be expected to collect all three points. Their following three fixtures are away to Hearts, at home to Aberdeen and another clash against Hearts at home.

Should the Gers pick up the maximum 12 points, they could have a hugely encouraging two-point lead over Aberdeen by mid-December even if their rivals pick up victories in their other matches. But it’s a tough task.

In other Rangers news, this Gers midfielder has made a shocking revelation about playing for the club.