Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Can Rangers make major statement to SPL?



After a hard-fought win at Ibrox last weekend, Rangers have momentum for the first time in a year. Graeme Murty’s men managed three league wins in a row to finally end the hoodoo of failing to do so for as long as we can remember, but the side has its work cut out to continue the winning form with tomorrow’s visit to Hibernian on the cards.

Hibs are Scotland’s in-form team with just one defeat since the 14th of October – and while they are technically in fourth place presently, Lennon’s side has quietly recovered from their sticky September form to put together a real run and while victory at Easter Road would not take them above Rangers, it would draw them level on points.

Graeme Murty definitely has to think about this one. While performances over the past three matches have been mostly good, he has the enigmatic Carlos Pena to sort out, while we saw the worst of Josh Windass and Kenny Miller against County too.

Rangers have been at their best when running at pace at the opposition flanks – James Tavernier’s display against Aberdeen at Ibrox typified what has worked for Murty recently – Declan John too ran riot on the opposite side in both clashes against McInnes’ men, and that kind of width will be essential to get behind the likes of Steven Whittaker.

That said, it is vital the midfield does not underperform like it did against Owen Coyle’s side – while Holt and McCrorie worked hard, neither had especially outstanding games, and Pena was diabolical – overall the middle let County have far too much of the ball, and that is something Hibs would punish severely with the likes of McGinn in attendance.

In defence Rangers have decisions to make. Danny Wilson was patchy on Saturday with possible concussion playing a part, while Alves was good with distribution but less good at defending – David Bates, so impressive at Pittodrie, could well be called into action if Murty feels either of the above are not at their best. There is also the returning Fabio Cardoso to consider too.

Thankfully up front Rangers have a timely boost with the return to fitness and form of Alfredo Morelos. When the Colombian hitman is in the zone he is unplayable – a tank of a man and clinical with his finishing, he will cause Gray and co all manner of problems – but behind him the out of form Kenny Miller probably will not.

It is a big match. But Rangers have risen to the big occasion of late – three wins v Aberdeen and Hibs would just about confirm Rangers are the best of the rest in Scotland, which actually bodes well for the future.

If a managerless Rangers are second top against the likes of Aberdeen and Hibs, once we get our act together, we should pull away from this lot with ease.

9 comments:

  1. We could beat Hibs if we unsettle their team by asking to talk to Lennon for the managers job, just like we did against Aberdeen. But of course, you won't publish this.

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    1. Magi ur obviously not one of our "we" cos we wud never ever ever Lower ourselves to ask popcorn teeth for anything. He wouldn't be able to stop himself from rejecting us publicly possibly even live on sky.

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  2. I cannot see us beating Hibs on their current form, i think we will manage a draw at the most. what is interesting though is that after Hibs, we have johnstone, killy, and motherwell so we should be able to pick up 10 points from those 4 games.

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  3. A fair article and assessment of our players. Ginger nut will have hibs players out to bully, kick, wind up and intimidate our players, for that there is no doubt. Ryan Jack fell for it at Ibrox to our cost!!
    We need to better ourselves mentally as well as physically against this mob tomorrow. Ross county got loads of space down our left hand side and I think hibs will target the same. When declan john loses the ball going forward, there is a big hole at the back whereby Wilson was woeful in his cover.
    I would play - Foderingham, Tav, Alves, Wilson, John, Mcrorie, Candias, Holt, Barjonas, Windass, Morelos,,Subs - Miller, Bates, Alnwick, Pena, Atakayi, Beerman.
    4-1-4-1 formation.
    Most balls come from McGinn for hibs, McRorie needs to keep him quiet. It will be a highly paced and physical game, our attitude needs to be spot on from ALL our players!!!

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    1. Jimbo,

      I agree with you, but Miller is not going to drop himself, so next best option would be Miller up front(wandering whereever) with Morelos and Windass in the hole behind, or top of the diamond, depending on terminology

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  4. It's all about Murty and his relationship with the guys , they will know they face a tough game against possibly the dirtiest hardest team we have played , we can do it bt every player needs win the individual battles and play with dig it's not a game for flair , i personally think pena should be trained for strikers position as he can't do midfield in Scotland Morales is more than capable of tip of midfield diamond , its worry neither jack or dorrans are available

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  5. Tavi Bruno Wilson Wallace

    Candias McCorie Barjonas John

    Pena Morelos

    No messing about Tora Tora Tora
    Get out there and get stuck in and put them to the sword!!


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  6. Unfortunately the Hibs game will test us to extreme. They potentially have the best midfield in our league and without Jack, Dorrans, McCrorie to select leaving us woefully weak against the two main aggressive midfielders in McGinn and McGeoch the task is going to be difficult.
    The added problem is the appointment of Kevin Clancy as referee, it is almost a certainty that televised games have SFA appointed anti-Ranges officials; Thompson, Collum, Beaton and Clancy amongst others, so we are in for a difficult game. Holt and Barjonas are the only two recognised fully fit midfielders with the lies of Pena, Krankjar, with maybe the off-form Miller in a middle of the park role, so we lack a dig in the middle of the park I feel we personally need.
    I can only live in hope we come out with a positive result.

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    1. When is Dorrans due back? Gone quiet on that front. Same from Rossiter but guess that the norm for him...

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