Rangers scintillating Premiership run hit a massive setback last weekend during their Old Firm derby clash against age-old rivals Celtic at Ibrox. The Light Blues had a glorious opportunity to knock down the Hoops for the first time since March 2012 but suffered a shocking 3-2 defeat despite taking the lead twice in the game and conceding against a 10-man Celtic side in the second half.
They are now on a record four-game losing streak against the Glasgow rivals at Ibrox and wasted the slightest opportunity of reviving the long gone competition that the Premiership is in desperate need for its own good. Graeme Murty, the Gers boss, has vowed to come back stronger during the weekend’s Ibrox clash against 5th placed Kilmarnock and the glimpses of quality his boys produced last week, has excited the fans and made them upbeat for a jubilant upcoming campaign.
Although they were humbled by rivals Celtic last week, a 4-2-3-1 formation has helped Rangers to script a recent resurgence and the gaffer is likely to retain the same when his side will be hosting Killie on Saturday afternoon.
Rangers have a steady custodian between the sticks in form of Wes Foderingham who, despite conceding thrice against the Bhoys, will be retaining his first-team slot over young Jack Alnwick, the former Newcastle United custodian, who has appeared only in a few cup outings this term.
The Gers suffered a massive defensive blow when their promising centre-back David Bates injured his ankle in the derby and is now set to undergo a scan to understand the severity. However, the return of veteran Bruno Alves will be a massive boost whereas Norwich City loanee Russell Martin, their key defensive winter recruit, is set to return after missing out the derby clash due to a late injury mishap. Alves and Martin – these two veterans are likely to partner each other in central defensive roles for the first time this season.
James Tavernier will start in his usual right-back role whereas the opposite flank will be occupied by young Declan John whose loan move from Cardiff City has been made permanent a few months back. Skipper Lee Wallace has stepped up recovery and might also be in contention for the weekend clash.
Despite the continued absence of Ryan Jack, Jordan Rossiter, and Ross McCrorie, Rangers have received a massive injury boost following the return of veteran Graham Dorrans after a long absence and is likely to partner QPR loanee Sean Goss in the middle of the park. Greg Docherty, the winter signing from Hamilton Academical, has done a decent job in limited opportunities but is likely to make way for the Scotsman, who had an emotional return at Ibrox last year where he spent quality time in their academy ranks.
Daniel Candeias has recently signed a contract extension following a spirited display and will continue to feature on the right-hand flank. Impressive Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Jamie Murphy will occupy the opposite flank wheres young sensation Josh Windass is set to retain his place as a ‘number 10’ or the withdrawal forward.
Rangers have a couple of ‘number 9’ options in form of Jason Cummings and Alfredo Morelos. Morelos, the young Colombian, however, is having an amazing debut campaign since his summer switch from HJK Helsinki and is likely to retain the first-team slot despite his horror miss in closing seconds of the Celtic clash which should have been netted to avoid the disappointment.
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