Sunday, February 5, 2023

Sakala To Start? | Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Kilmarnock

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Rangers came back from behind and secured a victory in the extra-time against ten-man Aberdeen to progress to the League Cup final. It was a tiring afternoon for the Light Blues, but they must regroup immediately ahead of their trip to Rugby Park. Derek McInnes’ Kilmarnock won’t let them have an easy ride on Wednesday night in the upcoming Premiership tie.

Killie grabbed a promotion last summer and are currently working towards retaining their top-flight status. They were beaten by Rangers back in August, but the weekend battle against Celtic should offer encouragement even though they endured defeat after a headstrong performance.

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

Defence

Michael Beale has rotated Allan McGregor and Jon McLaughlin in recent games. While the latter is expected to replace McGregor in the coming days, the 41-year-old Scotsman should continue as the ‘number 1’ until the closure of the current campaign.

Skipper James Tavernier must operate from the right with his trademark runs, set-pieces and attacking expertise, but the defensive frailty of Borna Barisic remains a worrying sign as he was largely at fault on Sunday afternoon during Bojan Miovski’s opening goal. But the left fullback should still keep his place with Ridvan Yilmaz sidelined. Connor Goldson and Ben Davies are likely to maintain their first-team status in the heart of the backline. Leon King and James Sands would be the defensive covers amid long-term injuries to John Souttar and Filip Helander.

John Lundstram

Midfield 

Ryan Jack completed 120 minutes and scored a goal in their Hampden clash with Aberdeen. Beale should rest him this midweek and bring Glen Kamara back in the starting XI to partner with John Lundstram deep down the midfield. Steven Davis is ruled out for the season after rupturing his ACL, but the gaffer might deploy Scott Arfield at a later stage of the contest.

Fashion Sakala is irreplaceable down the right for his pace, flair and prowess in the attacking third. Ryan Kent has revived his form since the managerial alteration as his dribbling and directness would terrorize the Kilmarnock defenders. Malik Tillman must feature as a ‘number 10’ and showcase his creative spark once again. Scott Wright, Alex Lowry and Rabbi Matondo might get involved as second-half substitutes, but the likes of Tom Lawrence and Ianis Hagi are still a few weeks away from returning to team training.

Attack

Kemar Roofe scored the winner against the Dons but suffered yet another injury blow. Antonio Colak won’t be risked on the artificial pitch and the manager, therefore, would rely on Alfredo Morelos high up the field.

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