Rangers are in catastrophe following an unforeseen Champions League exit from the third qualifying round. The spark of last season is missing and three successive defeats across competitions have put the Gers under immense pressure ahead of hosting Dunfermline Athletic on Friday night.
The Scottish League Cup second round tie should be a stroll in the park for the Glasgow giants. However, the ongoing conundrum would boost the Pars to script an upset at Ibrox. The Championship outfit endured a 3-0 league defeat last weekend against Partick Thistle, but the upcoming contest is a whole new ball game for both sides as they must be determined to recover from early jitters.
Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup To Face Dunfermline
Veteran Allan McGregor featured in their Champions League qualifiers, whereas Jon McLaughlin has got the nod for the Premiership encounters. Steven Gerrard should prefer the latter between the sticks for the Dunfermline game as the 33-year-old is tipped to succeed McGregor in the long run after spending the previous campaign as his understudy.
Nathan Patterson enjoyed an impressive spell earlier this year during James Tavernier’s injury absence. The teenager holds a bright future ahead and his presence down the right-hand side would allow the skipper to have a breathing space. Connor Goldson is yet to meet his own standards and the gaffer needs to restore Filip Helander alongside the Englishman following Leon Balogun’s disastrous display against Malmo. Borna Barisic is struggling from the left and should get replaced by Calvin Bassey who was exquisite against Livingston in their season opener.
Ryan Jack and Nnamdi Ofoborh are sidelined with their fitness woes. The Bears, therefore, would once again rely on Steven Davis to drive the show from his deep-lying midfield role. Scott Arfield is a shadow of his earlier self and the early impression of John Lundstram is quite underwhelming given his Premier League experience. Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara must be preferred for their technical traits, box-to-box movements and creative spark from in and around the attacking third.
Ianis Hagi had a positive impact from the bench on Tuesday night and is likely to operate from the right flank if declared fit for the League Cup fixture. Fashion Sakala is yet to exhibit his scoring expertise as a ‘number 9’ and should be deployed from the left considering his pace and swift footwork. Kemar Roofe missed the Dundee United game due to personal reasons but is back again to lead the line having found the net already against Livi as a late substitute. Scott Wright, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos might get involved at some stage if the situation demands.
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