Yilmaz & Alfie start – predicted Rangers XI for Hibs

Yilmaz & Alfie start – predicted Rangers XI for Hibs
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 06: Alfredo Morelos of Rangers during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Kilmarnock FC at Ibrox Stadium on August 6, 2022 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Okay, so we know we’re heading to Easter Road tomorrow lunchtime. We wonder just how many changes Gio will make for this one, given that there are, after all 3 crucial league points still up for grabs.

Looking at our opponents and thinking ahead to midweek, we’ll try to take a stab at what the starting 11 might be tomorrow.

Firstly, we know we’re drastically short of options in defence, so Tavernier, Goldson and Sands we expect will start. Potentially with Yilmaz at left back, purely for the pace he offers which as we know, is important against Hibs’ forward line. Borna will also benefit from a rest ahead of Tuesday. We also expect McLaughlin to start in goal, as clearly, he’s Gio’s number 1 and this isn’t a position that the gaffer likes to rotate.

Midfield, and presuming we go with the 3, we’re possibly looking at Arfield, Jack and Lundstram. Of the 3, only big bad Jon played on Tuesday night, but we know he’s one of the fittest members of our squad. We’d argue that we’re likely to name an unchanged side for PSV, meaning that Davo and Lawrence would come back in, replacing Arfield and Jack. Those two, however always rise to the challenge of Hibs, Arfield especially loves a goal against the green side of Edinburgh and we imagine that he’d be the more advanced of the 3.

That leaves 3 spots left on the attacking areas. It’s probably unlikely we’ll see Kent, who will be rested for midweek, given that he’s not 100% fit. It won’t be a surprise to see young Matondo given the nod, again looking to terrorise them with pace. We hope we’re wrong, but reckon we’re Wright – yes, pun intended, Gio seems to see something in Scott Wright, so think he’ll also make the 11. In fairness to the lad, he’s okay domestically, just not who you want to be carrying you forward in say, a Europa League Final, or a Champions League Qualifier for that matter. Finally, up front, leading the line as well as the “wind up Porteous” club – Alfie. Colak (or “Goal-ak”) was brilliant on Tuesday and the chances are he’ll start in Eindhoven. That paves the way for Morelos to make his first start of the season. He too loves a goal against Hibs and if we could get 70 minutes and a goal out of him, he’d be a dangerous option to have off the bench on Wednesday night too.

Given the above, we’d still have the likes of Colak, Lawrence, Tillman and Kent to come off the bench if required, but we would hope that this team would be strong enough and hungry enough to get the job done in the Capital. It’s crucial that we utilise our squad where needed as we attempt to compete on all fronts this season, in our quest for 56 and for Champions League football.

Predicted XI: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Yilmaz, Goldson, Sands, Jack, Lundstram, Arfield, Matondo, Wright, Morelos.

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  1. I watched Yilmaz closely against Kilmarnock and never saw much evidence of the pace you referred to. Anyway, good luck to the young lad. Go show us why we paid the big money for you. Hopefully Morelos starts too. He badly needs the game time.

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