Rangers need to keep winning domestically and they face a difficult trip up to Dingwall on Saturday. After losing on the opening day, the club can’t afford any mistakes, especially leading up to the first Old Firm game the following weekend.
I think there will be some changes, with PSV in mind, but Rangers have a really strong squad just now, especially going forward. There are more midfield and attacking options than were available last season so rotating some players doesn’t massively weaken the side the way it used to.
Here’s my predicted line-up for Saturday’s match.
GK – Jack Butland – Butland has been great for Rangers so far. He commands his area brilliantly and looks confident coming out for the ball. He looks like a worthy replacement for Allan McGregor so far.
RB – James Tavernier – This isn’t the type of game for a defensive fullback. So despite the midweek criticism of Tavernier he should keep his spot for what he offers going forward.
CBs – Leon Balogun & John Souttar – The same as against Livingston, I think Goldson will get a rest this weekend. He didn’t have much of a preseason and was excellent on Tuesday night. He’ll be key to Rangers progression in the Champions League and minutes in the legs for Souttar to keep him fit is key.
LB – Borna Barisic – Barisic in for the exact same reasons as Tavernier. Defensively I thought he was solid against PSV but Rangers will need his attacking ability to breakdown a sturdy Ross County defence.
CDM – Nico Raskin – I think Jack will be rested for the game in Eindhoven. Either Lundstram or Raskin could drop back into the number 6 spot. Raskin has been his usual tenacious and gritty self off the ball but has been wasteful on it. Hopefully that can change with the gargantuan game that’s coming midweek.
RCM – John Lundstram – The Englishman was very solid when he came on, on Tuesday. He settled down the midfield and picked up plenty of loose balls. He needs minutes in his legs, especially if there’s a chance that Beale goes with a more defensive midfield come Wednesday.
LCM – Todd Cantwell – Assuming Ross County will be tough to break down I think Cantwell will drop back into the 8 position. In an interview post match he said that Beale sees him as an 8 and a 10, using different qualities for different scenarios.
I believe Rangers will need as many creative players as possible to make chances on Saturday and him dropping back will help this.
CAM – Sam Lammers – He got his first goal against Livingston and had a beautiful touch which set up a chance on Tuesday. His technical ability isn’t in question but he needs to find the form he showed in preseason.
Can Dingwall be the place where he comes to life?
ST – Cyriel Dessers – There may be a chance he’s rested as he will undoubtedly started against PSV. That being said, he still isn’t fully match fit, his own words (not mine), he was crucial in setting up both goals at Ibrox on Tuesday.
He’s looking sharper every game, now we just need to see the ability in front of goal.
ST – Danilo – The Brazilian had another big chance to get a Champions League goal and missed, again, These are the type of chances you expect your marquee striker signing to put away. Had he scored, it’s a different game going over to the Netherlands.
That being said, he has shown glimpses of what he’s capable of and I believe he will get goals for Rangers. He already has two, will he add to that on Saturday?
I think Matondo will come off the bench with the idea of keeping him fresh for Wednesday. This also won’t be a game that suits his pace and ability to run in behind.
Another must win game for Rangers. The slip up against Kilmarnock has meant Rangers need to win on Saturday and against Celtic to avoid falling behind too early on in the season.
Dingwall is never an easy venue to travel to but I think Rangers will have too much for this Ross County side.
Who makes your starting line-up? Would you play the same team as Tuesday or rotate a few of the players?
Are you confident we’ll come away with the three points? What’s your score prediction for Saturday’s lunch time kick off?
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ICYMI you can read yesterdays article which looks at the kind of impact Rabbi Matondo can have here.