We have a Premiership classic on our hands on Saturday when Rangers host Aberdeen at Ibrox in what will be both teams’ 16th game of the season. Rangers lost their second place in the Scottish Premiership table after a 2-0 loss against Hearts on Wednesday night. The Gers are sitting third in the table with 26 points from 15 games. Celtic are 8 points clear of them and second-placed Hearts leapfrogged the Gers despite playing three games fewer. The gap is ever increasing and the game against Aberdeen won’t exactly be the ideal fixture to shake off their dull form.
Aberdeen, who finished runners-up in the last two seasons, are also 10 points behind top-placed Celtic and have played one game more. They lost 3-0 to Celtic last Sunday in the League cup final and will be keen to get back to winning ways.
The two have met each other once already this season and the Dons won 2-1. Here are three key battles which could decide the game.
Ash Taylor Vs Martyn Waghorn
Martyn Waghorn is back from injury and in his absence, the Gers have struggled for goals. The English striker is likely to spearhead the Gers’ attack against Aberdeen. The Englishman is a big threat with his pace and positioning and has a point to prove after a slow start to the new season. 26-year-old Ash Taylor is likely to start at the heart of the Aberdeen defence against Rangers.
A big player who excels aerially and is a pretty good passer of the ball, Taylor is not someone a striker can easily overpower and overrun. This will be a battle to watch out for.
Ryan Jack Vs Andy Halliday
At just 24 years of age, Ryan Jack is a key player for Aberdeen. He is strong, energetic and creative. In many ways, he is similar to Rangers star midfield Andy Halliday who is a key player for the Gers with his energetic displays in the middle of the park.
The two young and lively midfielders will collide against each other in midfield and the winner of this one can potentially win his side the game.
Jonny Hayes Vs Lee Wallace
Hayes has been superb for Aberdeen this season with his lively displays from the right flank. The 29-year-old is an explosive winger who likes to take on defenders. He can score goals and can create them too. From 16 games in all competitions, the Irishman has assisted nine times this season while scoring twice.
Rangers skipper Lee Wallace is an experienced servant of the game but his style is mostly about his attacking forays, not his defensive skills which will be needed to stop a player like Hayes. He might have to be cautious and make limited attacking runs against Aberdeen, keeping in mind Hayes’ threat.
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