Rangers travel to Falkirk tomorrow for the season’s maiden foray into the League Cup, and much has been made of the potential team Steven Gerrard could send out.
Now, recall last season, and the mass rotation for the trip to East Fife where the likes of Greg Docherty, Matt Polster et al failed miserably to perform, even if the team still claimed a solid enough 0-3 win.
Ergo, we fully expect again our manager to put out a weaker team for this one, but he’ll be expecting so much more in performance from them this time around, to show the much greater depth the squad now has.
Ibrox Noise takes you through our predicted XI for this one.
Goals. Easy, Jon McLaughlin. Nothing much more needs said here.
Nathan Patterson is likely to get rare minutes here, with captain James Tavernier certain to be rested, off the back of his vocal faux pas and slightly off-par performance midweek. Defence will see a return for Filip Helander, and further minutes for Leon Balogun. Goldson will be rested. Left back will see Callum Bassey start.
With no Ryan Jack, and Steven Davis not getting much younger, Glen Kamara will start this one, and we wouldn’t be shocked at all if Bongani Zungu is in there too.
Joe Aribo isn’t available, but Ianis Hagi should get a starting jersey, and we’d be surprised if Scotty Arfield isn’t involved.
In the new three-man prong Rangers have sort of used lately, Brandon Barker will get the nod on the left while Kemar Roofe is certain to begin on the right, with a small chance of it being Greg Stewart. The only real dilemma is up front between Jermain Defoe and Cedric Itten, and we’d imagine both will get a half, with Defoe the starter.
So your Ibrox Noise prediction:
McLaughlin; Patterson, Helander, Balogun, Bassey; Kamara, Zungu, Hagi; Barker, Defoe, Roofe.
We decided Arfield may be rested too. As a fringe team goes, it’s still better than pretty much all the SPL and that includes Celtic.
This won’t be an easy match, and Falkirk may give this a go on their own turf. But we’ll see.