Former Hibs captain Ian Murray doesn’t think the Hibees and their capital rivals Hearts will sustain a title challenge against Rangers this season, pointing to the lack of depth outside the starting XI at either of the Edinburgh sides as a weakness.

Murray, who now manages Airdrie, thinks Hearts and Hibs could both finish above struggling Celtic this season but predicts that both sides will “drop too many silly points” over the course of the season.

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Ian Murray during a Betfred Cup match between Livingston and Airdrie at The Tony Macaroni Arena (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Hearts remain the only Premiership side yet to taste defeat this season but face a trip to Ibrox on October 16 with the champions sitting only a single point ahead of Robbie Neilson’s side.

Murray admits the financial gap between the Old Firm and the rest will always make it difficult for other sides to challenge for the title as he tipped Rangers to retain their crown and go on to win the title.

“For Hibs and Hearts to compete, it’s really difficult because of budgets,” Murray said [Daily Record]. “What I do think is both sides could finish above Celtic.

“That’s not to be disrespectful to Celtic in any way because I actually think they will come good in the end over the next 18 months.

 

“It would be great if the Edinburgh clubs could go challenge [for the title] but I just think they drop too many silly points.

“In my opinion, Rangers have the best players, the best squad and they will produce more consistently than Hibs and Hearts will.

“Both teams have started really well. But when you look at Hibs’ bench, for example, you have to ask, ‘Is that strong enough to go challenge for the Premiership?’

“In my opinion it’s not. I’m sure Jack would have liked a better transfer window. I look at Hearts bench and say it’s slightly stronger but when it comes right down to the crunch I think Rangers have the best squad.”

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