Friday, August 12, 2022

Itten To Lead The Line? | Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup To Face Annan Athletic

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Pratyay Maitra
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Rangers have secured back to back wins since their Old Firm derby defeat against Celtic. The streak must be continued on Saturday evening when they would travel to Galabank to lock horns with Annan Athletic. The League Two minnows have been drawn against the Glasgow giants in the Scottish Cup 5th Round tie and the Gers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst is likely to rotate his options this weekend ahead of next midweek’s Borussia Dortmund encounter.

These two sides clashed heads four times back in the 2012-13 season when the Light Blues were demoted to the fourth tier of Scottish football. However, their most recent meeting has been a League Cup tie, that too in July 2016 when the famous Glasgow Rangers grabbed a 2-0 victory thanks to Barry McKay and Martyn Waghorn’s goals.

Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup To Face Annan Athletic

Defence

Although Allan McGregor is still the ‘number 1’ at the age of 40, the gaffer is likely to rely on Jon McLaughlin who also featured in their previous Cup outing against Stirling Albion.

Despite a win against Hibs, Leon Balogun was forced to leave the pitch early with another setback. Filip Helander is in contention to make his comeback from a long-term injury, whereas outcast Jack Simpson must get the nod for rare first-team minutes. Borna Barisic was disastrous versus Celtic and a start this weekend might lift the Croatian’s confidence ahead of a busy schedule. Winter signing Mateusz Zukowski should make his debut in order to allow skipper James Tavernier some breathing space down the right.

Rangers attacker Fashion Sakala celebrates a goal
LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 28: Fashion Sakala of Rangers celebrates after scoring their side’s third goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Livingston FC and Rangers FC at Almondvale Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Livingston, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Midfield

The Gers have ample midfield stars in their ranks, but the likes of Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo, Scott Arfield and John Lundstram have appeared more frequently in recent fixtures. Meanwhile, Steven Davis is back from his injury and the iconic Northern Ireland international might return to action given his profound experience as a deep-lying playmaker. Ryan Jack is recovering from a knock and January recruit James Sands should be reintegrated as a box-to-box option. Joe Aribo is expected to offer his vision, work ethic and creative spark from the middle of the park. Aaron Ramsey, working on regaining match fitness, must secure more minutes under his belt prior to the BVB contest.

Attack

Cedric Itten has been recalled from his Greuther Furth loan and the Swiss centre-forward might spearhead the attack over Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos. Fashion Sakala must operate from the left allowing Amad Diallo to occupy the right-wing role. Scott Wright and Alex Lowry should also be involved at some stage in the second half if they fail to make it to the starting XI.

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