The first 30 minutes of the performance vs Servette was much better than what was on display last Saturday. That isn’t saying much however and the following 60 minutes were reminiscent of the Kilmarnock match. Tomorrow represents a real chance for some of the new boys to kickstart their Rangers career. A win is the most important thing though after defeat last week.
Michael Beale made some interesting comments in the press conference so let’s look at how I believe the team will line up at Ibrox tomorrow.
All of the managers comments are available to read/listen to here.
GK – Jack Butland – He’s impressed me so far. He hasn’t had much to do but everything he’s had to deal with, he’s dealt with coolly and confidently. He’s been quick off of his line and commanding in the air, exactly what Rangers needed.
He’s not had much chance with the two goals he’s conceded but hopefully tomorrow he gets his first clean sheet as Rangers number one.
RB – James Tavernier – Going forward he looked a lot more dangerous on Wednesday, he kept the width, particularly in the first half and Rangers looked good going down that side. Like the rest of the team his energy waned in the second half, let’s hope for more like the first 30 midweek.
CBs – Connor Goldson & Leon Balogun – The comments the manager made regarding John Souttar’s injuries makes me think he’ll be rested tomorrow so he’s ready for Tuesday evening. Goldson probably still needs the minutes after missing so much of preseason so I think he’ll keep his place.
LB – Borna Barisic – Barisic looked dangerous from the left and his crossing was the best it’s been in a while so he’ll keep his place. Particularly with Sterling lacking fitness and Ridvan injured.
CDM – Nico Raskin – With the manager confirming Cifuentes will start, I think it will be in place of Ryan Jack. That will probably mean Raskin will drop back into the 6 slot. He’s key to Rangers getting the ball forward and always drives the team up the pitch.
RCM – José Cifuentes – As previously mentioned the manager confirmed he will start. I think it will be at the expense of Ryan Jack so that Jack is ready again for Tuesday. He looked very energetic and combative when he came on, on Wednesday.
He’ll be excellent at winning the ball back and getting Rangers up the pitch. I’m excited to see him in from the start so we can see more of what he offers going forward.
LCM – Todd Cantwell – He’s key to how Rangers play and because he didn’t start last week, I don’t think he’ll be rested. I would imagine that ideally the game is sealed by the 60 minute mark and players like Cantwell will be subbed.
He’s one of Rangers best players, in my opinion, and should always be one of the first names on the team sheet.
CAM – Sam Lammers – He’s shown glimpses of what he’s capable of and tomorrow represents a great chance to get his first goal contribution. This game could serve as a confidence booster for Lammers and he needs to show what he can do against what will be a compact and stubborn Livingston side.
ST – Abdallah Sima – I think Sima will come in for Dessers. Purely because Dessers has looked tired the last couple of games and is still building fitness. I also think Beale will want him fresh for Tuesday as he’s more of a ‘target man’ option.
That means Sima could come in and look to use his pace to break passed the Livingston defence.
ST – Danilo – He provided a lot of effort and energy on Wednesday but the end product was missing. I think he needs as many minutes as possible to start building relationships with his team mates.
His link-up play was the weakest part of his game on Wednesday and hopefully we see some improvements there tomorrow.
The main priority tomorrow is three points on the board. It the performance can be reminiscent of the first 30 vs Servette, then great. The biggest thing though, is getting the first three points on the board.
Who starts in your predicted line-up? Do you also think some players will be rotated? Or will it be the same as Wednesday?
ICYMI you can read this mornings article on Rabbi Matondo here.