After a nervy win against Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup, Rangers will be back in action on Saturday afternoon to resume their Premiership hunt. Despite an exquisite run of results, the Gers have not been able to close the gap with league leaders Celtic. Irrespective of their rivals’ form, Michael Beale must ensure all three points versus Livingston and maintain the right spirit before clashing heads with the Hoops in the League Cup final.
It won’t be a stroll in the park for Rangers at the Spaghettihad. The Lions have witnessed an incredible rise under David Martindale over the past couple of years and a result against the Glasgow giants would boost their chances of European football. The Light Blues grabbed a win on the road in the opening gameweek, but the ten-man Livingston hit back at Ibrox with a 1-1 draw. Nevertheless, the encounter this weekend should be engaging and full of entertainment.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Livingston
Neither Allan McGregor nor Jon McLaughlin has impressed enough between the sticks. The gaffer has rotated them extensively, but we might see McGregor grabbing back-to-back starts given his experience and expertise of the highest order.
Skipper James Tavernier is irreplaceable on the right for his leadership traits, relentless overlapping runs, attacking excellence as well as set-piece attributes. Connor Goldson did not start against the Jags with a minor issue. However, the Englishman is tipped to be back in action and partner with Ben Davies in the heart of the backline. Borna Barisic has played a decisive role of late and the left fullback should keep his place ahead of injured Ridvan Yilmaz. Goldson’s return would cost James Sands his starting status in spite of netting the winning goal in the closing moments of the Scottish Cup clash.
Nicolas Raskin has made a promising start to his Rangers realm. The Belgian must form a double pivot alongside Glen Kamara to bridge the gap between defence and attack. Ryan Jack could get involved as a second-half substitute, whereas John Lundstram is likely to miss the trip due to fitness reasons. Raskin and Jack have minor concerns, but they still have a couple of days to recover before clashing heads with Livingston.
Beale is yet to figure out the best role for Todd Cantwell. The ex-Norwich star might get the nod over Fashion Sakala, but the ‘number 10’ spot belongs to Malik Tillman for his creative spark. The young USMNT playmaker could switch positions with Cantwell, however, the gametime of Ryan Kent must not be compromised down the left.
Alfredo Morelos should spearhead the attack at Almondvale. Antonio Colak could be introduced at a later stage, and so should be Kemar Roofe, who is fit again ahead of next weekend’s battle for the season’s first silverware.