With arguably two of the most important matches this season upon us in quick succession, there is no denying all players selected to play over the entire 180+ minutes must deliver.
However, there is no doubt Rangers have key players, players who have the ability to transcend and give even more – today we take a look at them, the players who Rangers will especially rely on to push the team towards victory.
A little quiet by his standards recently, the captain has mostly been excellent this season, and a true leader. He has chipped in with goals too, but it has been his marauding flank play in both defence and attack that has inspired, and if Rangers are to have any major chance of taking the maximum from these two fixtures, Waldo will have to be on his game. His experience is also critical, with a fairly young defence around him his communication skills will be put to the test.
His game has also suffered a little of late, but he was astonishing earlier in the season with a goal rate defying his position and some stupendous dribbling to boot – if Rangers are to cope, Tavernier will need to be defensively rigid while rampaging ‘Blue Cafu’ style down the right.
After being one of Rangers’ best v Morton, it was surprising Warburton chose to take him off. While he is another whose performances recently have not quite matches earlier in the season overall, the display v Greenock showed he can still deliver, as did the show v Alloa where only Martyn Waghorn’s brace prevented him being MOTM. Zelalem has extreme balance and composure, and always seems to have acres of space around him – he draws fouls easily such is his nifty footwork and will be vital to help provide creativity from midfield.
This man has been the signing of the season. Never flashy, never the headline-stealer, but Holt is Rangers’ best player by sheer consistency, and his hard work and link play between midfield and attack plus superb composure on the ball will allow others around him time and space to do their jobs. How well Jason Holt plays could well have a massive bearing on these results.
How the Magic Hat deploys him will be particularly important – Waghorn’s best work comes through the middle when he is able to run at and intimidate defences directly – he finds space impressively for a man of his size and physique and there is more than a nagging suspicion he is wasted when he starts on the wing. If he is in the middle he will more than cause trouble for upcoming backlines.
Naturally, as stated, all players selected need to do their bit, but every team has its key players and the above are arguably Rangers’.