Rangers recovered from an early blip and registered yet another Old Firm derby win prior to the international break. But they must prepare themselves for a tricky away test on Saturday afternoon against St. Johnstone. The Saints conquered domestic double last season and the champions of Scotland must improve the away record to secure all three points at McDiarmid Park.
The hosts are yet to win a league game this term and should attempt to do so in this weekend encounter. Callum Davidson would once again apply his ‘deep block’ strategy to frustrate the Gers and script quick counter-attacking threats against the run. Steven Gerrard is set to return to the dugout after recovering from Covid-19, so are the players who missed the derby at Ibrox.
Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup To Face St. Johnstone
Gerrard has a selection dilemma between the sticks with three goalkeepers chasing for the ‘number 1’ status. He was initially rotating between Allan McGregor and Jon McLaughlin, but their absence led to the rise of Robby McCrorie. The youngster secured successive cleansheets against Alashkert and Celtic, however, the gaffer should opt for McGregor considering his experience on the road.
Leon Balogun delivered as a makeshift right-back versus the Hoops with both James Tavernier and Nathan Patterson ruled out. While Patterson is recovering from a knock, skipper Tavernier should reclaim his place on Saturday lunchtime. Filip Helander had fitness concerns with Sweden but is expected to feature alongside Connor Goldson in the heart of the Rangers defence. In spite of a promising spell, Calvin Bassey might have to make way for Borna Barisic following the latter’s incredible display in Croatia colours.
Although Ryan Jack and Nnamdi Ofoborh remain sidelined with their respective injury problem, the Bears would have ample midfield options to select from with Steven Davis, Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo, Scott Arfield, John Lundstram and Juninho Bacuna all available for the St. Johnstone clash. Davis should operate from the base as always, whereas his presence would allow Aribo and Kamara to occupy free roles in the middle of the park. The pair must exhibit their technical traits, vision, ball-carrying ability as well as a creative spark from in and around the opponents’ box.
Rangers succeeded to retain the services of Alfredo Morelos despite exit rumours and the Colombian hitman must lead the line as he finds himself settled now. Ianis Hagi has been tested Covid +Ve while on his international duty with Romania and is set to miss an array of games in the coming days. Kemar Roofe, therefore, should be deployed on the right-hand flank and the flair of Ryan Kent down the left might cause menace in the Saints’ defensive third. Scott Wright and Fashion Sakala are also there to make an impact if the situation demands.
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