Rangers underwent their first blip under Giovanni van Bronckhorst when they settled for a draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie. Celtic are now within four points at the top of the standings and the Gers must step up their display against Livingston in order to avoid further setbacks next midweek. But before that, they should aim for a commanding victory on Friday night in the Scottish Cup 4th Round contest versus Stirling Albion F.C.
Although the League Two side are no match to Rangers’ fame, status and football heritage, it is indeed an achievement for the Binos who would travel to Ibrox to lock horns with one of the most prestigious European outfits. From the Light Blues’ perspective, this game should be a stroll in the park given their depth as well as quality across the pitch.
Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup To Face Stirling Albion
While Allan McGregor has cemented his ‘number 1’ status since the managerial alteration, Jon McLaughlin should be handed a start in this Cup fixture as he has featured sporadically following his Bosman move from Sunderland back in summer 2020.
The game would be too soon for Filip Helander even though the centre-back is closing in on an injury return. Skipper James Tavernier should continue as the right fullback, whereas academy prodigy Leon King deserves a nod in the heart of the backline alongside Leon Balogun. Calvin Bassey, though impressive as a centre-half, is expected to operate from his familiar left-back role in place of Borna Barisic.
Rangers have a few absentees in the centre of the pitch. Steven Davis and Scott Arfield missed the Dons tie through injuries and Ryan Jack has been plagued with fitness woes over the past couple of years. Joe Aribo is representing Nigeria in the AFCON and the champions of Scotland should opt for Juninho Bacuna and John Lundstram. Charlie McCann, who has joined the Gers reserves from Manchester United, must grab his senior debut after making it to the matchday squad against Aberdeen.
Winter signing James Sands made his debut on Tuesday night. However, the USMNT international is not expected to grab successive starts despite the lack of options in the middle of the park.
Kemar Roofe might not be ready for the Cup game and the gaffer should deploy Cedric Itten high up the pitch resting Alfredo Morelos. Fashion Sakala is likely to feature from the left and the flair of Scott Wright down the right is set to cause menace in the Albion defence.