Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Is another shock waiting for Rangers?

After three matches in a row facing sides either of a high quality or clearly bang in form, the visit of Neil McCann’s Dundee this weekend comes as something of a welcome respite for increasingly beleaguered Rangers manager Graeme Murty.

The Dee are in pretty miserable fettle of late with three losses in five, their only win being against one of the few teams even worse than they are in the form of Partick Thistle.

They did manage a very surprising point against Hearts, but again, the Gorgie Men are also horribly off form despite flirting with some consistency a month or two ago.

So Rangers, up against one of the SPL’s distinctly weaker teams after a batch of poor results against the better ones, must surely fancy themselves for a comfortable win.

Alas, with the fixture at Ibrox, anything is possible with this Rangers side, and it’s not completely against the realm of possibility for another shocking result to manifest itself in Govan.

Furthermore, this fixture at Dens Park in November was a disaster for then caretaker boss Murty as a Scott Allan-inspired home side put the visitors to the sword and took all three points. So despite their historical ‘cannon fodder’ status, they are capable of shocking teams. Of course, this time there’s no Allan to call upon so that is something at least.

So if we add the quite horrendous home form to the concoction of Dundee already having beaten Murty, despite the fact on paper this really should be a good win for the Ibrox men, it could be anything but.

In terms of personnel, Ryan Jack and Lee Wallace aside, Graeme Murty has more or less (Josh Windass’ situation is as yet unknown) an entirely full squad at his disposal and we would demand a change or two from the horrendous first half at Fir Park.

We would certainly advocate a place on the bench for out of sorts Alfredo Morelos while aforementioned Windass may not even make the squad, and personally where we’d be tempted to put Dorrans next to Morelos in the dugout, his weak display last weekend had caveats of his return to match fitness and his being completely out of position. We’d hope for much more if played in the three.

Defence is unlikely to be changed – like it or not Russell Martin and Bruno Alves are the duo for the foreseeable future. Not that we have much better in reserve in all honesty. Docherty should retain his place but either a recall for Goss beside him or Ross McCrorie will get the nod. We’d be happy with either.

In the three it’s got to be Candeias, Murphy and Dorrans if Windass is AWOL, while up top Cummings must get the nod ahead of Morelos.

But none of this matters if Murty cannot get the most out of them, and that has been his problem of late. That on top of the sieve at the backline.

In theory, a comfortable three points. In practise…?

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