High-flying Rangers scripted a sensational 1-0 win against PSV on Wednesday night to secure a Champions League group stage berth. While they would relish the opportunity of competing with the elite European outfits, the focus must be on Saturday afternoon’s Premiership encounter versus Ross County.
The Gers were denied a win last gameweek when they conceded in the stoppage time against Hibernian. Referee Willie Collum was the man in the middle as he handed marching orders to both John Lundstram and Alfredo Morelos quite controversially. Although he has been demoted this weekend for the Championship showdown between Queen’s Park and Cove Rangers, the damage is already done for the Light Blues, who are now two points behind their bitter rivals Celtic. It’s a must-win contest for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men to keep pace with the Hoops in the title race.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Ross County
Jon McLaughlin has been the standout performer since replacing Allan McGregor as the new Gers’ ‘number 1’. He is expected to keep his place between the sticks and register another clean sheet after a midweek masterclass.
Skipper James Tavernier is irreplaceable down the right with his marauding runs, crosses, cut insides and set-piece attributes. Borna Barisic should keep his place on the left, but the fullback pair needs to maintain a balance between attack and defence. Ever-present Connor Goldson is likely to anchor the show from the heart of the backline and the gaffer might opt for Ben Davies as the other centre-half, resting James Sands.
John Lundstram’s red card has been rescinded following a successful appeal. The Light Blues’ midfield maestro is available against the Staggies and his presence in the middle of the park would be essential to dictate the tempo by breaking down opponents’ moves and spreading the game across the pitch. Ryan Jack is expected to return to the starting XI after remaining as an unused substitute in Eindhoven.
Scott Wright is an option from the right-hand flank. Rabbi Matondo might feature from the left; however, the wide attacking duo could also switch their positions during the tie. Tom Lawrence must operate as the ‘number 10’, having exhibited his sheer creative spark early into the campaign.
Rangers have a new hero in Antonio Colak who should spearhead the attack following his heroics against PSV in the return leg of the Champions League playoff. Suspended Alfredo Morelos has lost his place and the ongoing rift with the manager has damaged his reputation of late.