The winter break is coming to an end and Rangers will restart their second half of the campaign when they travel to Central Park to take on Cowdenbeath. The fourth tier side would go in as the underdog but they would have nothing to lose in this Scottish Cup tie, and that is what makes these knockout cup games special.
Former Cowdenbeath manager Colin Cameron has already warned the Gers on what they can expect from the home team. He said (Herald Scotland), ”If it’s Jermain’s first game then he might decide to head back down south right after the final whistle. He might come in and see Central Park and say to himself ‘what have I got myself into here?’ I’m sure it’ll turn out fine but it’ll certainly be an eye-opener for most of the players at Rangers.”
Gerrard though should be prepared for anything the lower tier side might throw at them, but they could be battling the players as well as the ground conditions. The manager will also have a chance to test some of his new arrivals and maybe we could see the likes of Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe in action.
Jamie Murphy is going to miss out. Graham Dorrans is close to coming back but he is unlikely to be fit in time for this game. Borna Barisic is also likely to be unavailable. Apart from that, all the players should be fit and raring to go after the break.
Rangers predicted lineup Vs Cowdenbeath
Gerrard indicated that they could play in a different formation after the signing of Defoe. He had said (The Express), ”Jermain gives us the option of playing two up front, whether that be 4-4-2, a diamond, 3-5-2… it gives us that luxury. Kyle also does that we can go with a target man and a smaller guy around him.”
Wes Foderingham can get a go-ahead in goal in place of Allan McGregor. The centre back position could be occupied by the likes of Joe Worrall and Nikola Katic. The latter has fallen out of favour of late and he might get a chance in this cup tie to prove his worth.
Jon Flanagan can start as a left back in the absence of Barisic. James Tavernier is likely to start in his usual right-back role.
Steven Davis can get a start in this game and he should play in the middle of the park. Ryan Jack could be the other midfield partner with Davis. Down the left, we expect Glenn Middleton to start as Gerrard would like to protect Ryan Kent for big games. On the right, Eros Grezda should be given a go as he is in need of some game time.
Kyle Lafferty should start up front and he is likely to be partnered by Jermain Defoe who is going to make runs and movement in behind the target man.