Tomorrows game against Hibs marks the beginning of another new era for Rangers. Philippe Clement takes charge for the first time and there’s an excitement in the air surrounding this fixture.
Particularly after how well Clement has spoken in his press conferences so far. That being said, talking off the pitch doesn’t matter if the team can’t perform on the pitch.
The manager will obviously need time to instil his philosophy on his new side. Fans will be hoping to see some kind of idea of his style though.
One of the biggest things to come out of his press conferences is his claim that he wants Rangers to be brave in possession. He doesn’t want his side playing constant ‘sh*t lateral passes’. If the end of the side way passes and horse shoe is evident on Saturday then that is sure to delight fans.
This is potentially the hardest line-up prediction of the season so far, but I’ve had a go anyway.
GK – Jack Butland – The easiest choice to make in the prediction. He’s been Rangers best summer singing by a distance and is incredibly important to the defence.
RB – James Tavernier – Tavernier has remained as captain, for now, so it seems very likely he’ll keep his place.
CBs – Connor Goldson & Ben Davies – They started the last set of games together and I don’t see Clement making too many drastic changes.
LB – Ridvan Yilmaz – The type of positive full back Clement will love. He’ll be serious competition for Barisic now, it’s just unfortunate he isn’t in the European squad.
CM – John Lundstram – Before the last two games he had been very consistent. He’s going to have to be much more positive in possession now.
He’s shown he’s capable of being a driving force with his Europa League performances a couple of seasons ago. If he can’t provide that again his place could be in jeopardy.
CM – Nicolas Raskin – Clement will be well aware of Raskin from their time in Belgium. Raskin has high hopes for his career and needs to show the form he ended last season with.
He will admit himself he’s not been at his best but the last game against St. Mirren was probably his best of the season. He needs to show much more of the same going forward.
CM – Todd Cantwell – He’s been a huge miss since he got injured. Easily Rangers most creative player and potentially the most important in an attacking sense.
The return of Todd Cantwell is what most fans have been waiting for. It’s a big ask for him to find carry on his form from last season but that’s the type of pressure he says he loves.
RW – Sam Lammers – Lammers could be the type of player that will thrive in a new system. Perhaps Clement knows how to use him better than Beale did.
He’s got a lot to prove and this could be a great point to turn it around.
ST – Cyriel Dessers – Dessers is another with a lot to prove. He also represents a chance for Clement to show he knows how to use the players strengths.
If Danilo is ready to go then he would start for me but I think he’ll come off of the bench instead.
LW – Abdallah Sima – Sima has been Rangers main man recently. Attacking wise, he’s the first name on the team sheet right now.
It’ll be interesting to see if he can continue his form from before the international break. His pace will be key in a forward line that is massively lacking it with Matondo injured and Wright lacking fitness.
This is a huge game and one that Rangers must win. It’s a chance for Philippe Clement to show signs of what fans can expect from his team.
Like he has said though, he isn’t Harry Potter, so it’s going to take time. Hopefully this game is a step in the right direction and will provide something to build on.
How are you feeling about the game against Hibs? Are you confident going into this one? How do you expect the team to line up?
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ICYMI read our profile on Philippe Clement here.