Rangers had a rare occasion on Wednesday night when they defended a narrow 1-0 lead en route to securing all three points against St Johnstone. The Gers are still within three points of Celtic in the Premiership standings and the momentum must continue on Saturday afternoon versus Aberdeen.
These two sides have locked horns twice so far this season. Both the games ended all square including a thrilling 2-2 draw at Ibrox and the Light Blues must aim for a victory this time around to stay alive in the title race. They gave away a 2-0 lead last weekend against Motherwell and a similar setback would jeopardize their domestic goals irrespective of European excellence.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Aberdeen
Despite a disappointing outing versus Motherwell, gaffer Giovanni van Bronckhorst opted to rely on veteran Allan McGregor once again. The 40-year-old custodian grabbed a clean sheet at McDiarmid Park, something that might help him grow his confidence ahead of clashing heads with the Dons.
The deep defence looks more stable and resilient when Leon Balogun is on the pitch. The Nigerian had his fitness woes in recent months, but he is now back in action to partner with Connor Goldson at the heart of the backline. Calvin Bassey is more effective down the left compared to Borna Barisic, whereas skipper James Tavernier must retain his place as a right fullback given his attacking expertise and set-piece mastery.
While Steven Davis and Aaron Ramsey are still nursing their injuries, Ryan Jack is expected to be available for selection after missing the midweek tie due to a knock. The Scotsman endured severe injury nightmares in recent years and his minutes must be managed minutely to have him available for the remainder of the campaign. Glen Kamara grabbed his opportunity against the Saints by scoring the decisive goal early into the contest and the manager should stick with the Finnish midfield ace alongside John Lundstram as the double pivot.
Joe Aribo has not been at his best as a ‘number 10’; yet his work rate, vision and creative spark make him an assured starter in the Rangers‘ midfield. Experienced Scott Arfield should feature from the right amid the injury absence of both Ianis Hagi and Amad Diallo. Although the Light Blues have Scott Wright and Fashion Sakala as the wide attacking options, the wing-play of Ryan Kent would be crucial against Aberdeen’s defensive resolve.
Alfredo Morelos should keep his place high up the pitch but must keep his calm and composure against ex-Celtic skipper Scott Brown’s antics.