Monday, August 15, 2022

Colak To Lead The Line | Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Livingston

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Pratyay Maitra
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A brand new Premiership season will commence from Saturday lunchtime when Rangers will travel to West Lothian to lock horns with Livingston. Coincidentally, these two sides also clashed heads a year ago in the opening gameweek at Ibrox. The Gers won 3-0 against David Martindale’s men and gaffer Giovanni van Bronckhorst would aim for a similar outcome to kickstart their title fight.

The Gers failed to defend the league crown last season as they finished runners-up behind their bitter rivals Celtic. The manager exceeded all expectations in Europe, but they were largely inconsistent in the decisive Premiership fixtures, including Old Firm derbies. It remains to be seen, though, how the Dutchman handles it in his first full season in charge, particularly after the high-profile exits of Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo earlier this summer.

Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Livingston

Defence

Although 40-year-old Allan McGregor has penned a one-year extension, the Glasgow giants must promote Jon McLaughlin as the new ‘number 1’. He has been the understudy to his fellow countryman for the past two seasons but has featured sporadically since joining them in the summer of 2020.

Rangers players celebrating a goal
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – APRIL 17: James Tavernier celebrates with teammate Steven Davis of Rangers during the Scottish Cup Semi Final match between Celtic FC and Rangers FC at Hampden Park on April 17, 2022 in Glasgow, 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/).

Rangers have kept hold of Connor Goldson but, at the same time, parted ways with the Nigerian pair of Calvin Bassey and Leon Balogun. Filip Helander is sidelined with a long-term injury problem and we are expecting former Hearts centre-half John Souttar’s official debut in the heart of the backline. Skipper James Tavernier must be gearing up for another scintillating season with his marauding runs from the right. Meanwhile, Borna Barisic should operate from the left despite roping in Ridvan Yilmaz from Besiktas a couple of days ago.

Midfield

Van Bronckhorst’s 4-2-3-1 earned them stability after a few difficult games and the Rangers chief must maintain the same with John Lundstram anchoring their midfield game. Glen Kamara is expected to get the nod over Ryan Jack to partner the Englishman as the ‘double pivot’. Jack, as well as Steven Davis and James Sands, should get introduced at some stage as substitutes.

Ryan Kent is irreplaceable down the left, but the fears over Rabbi Matondo’s knock might see Scott Wright securing a starting status as a precaution for the newly-recruited Wales international. Tom Lawrence is tipped to operate as the ‘number 10’ following Aribo’s departure; also, a cameo from Malik Tillman could happen if the situation demands.

Attack

In the wake of Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos’ fitness concerns, summer signing Antonio Colak is likely to spearhead the attack. However, the Gers boss should consider Fashion Sakala as a makeshift ‘number 9’ until Morelos is back in action.

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