Sands & McLaughlin start: predicted Rangers XI to face Livingston

Sands & McLaughlin start: predicted Rangers XI to face Livingston
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: Jon McLaughlin of Rangers is beat by the shot of Liel Abada for Celtic's third goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Rangers FC at on September 03, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangers travel to Almondvale in yet another must win, off the back of a chaotic return for the injury crisis which sees 13 players potentially unavailable.

Livi’s plastic pitch will be the usual problem, and probably the cause of yet more injuries, so who will manager Michael Beale pick for this one?

Who will get the job done to save the side at a pretty tough venue while keeping an eye on the final?

We think the hapless McLaughlin is set to start this one, unless by a miracle Robby McCrorie is fit.

In defence, there are major concerns over Connor Goldson, and we don’t think he’ll be risked on this surface. So, Tavernier, Sands, Davies and Barisic.

In midfield, it’s a real issue – 3 players have been all-but ruled out, leaving just Glen Kamara definitely available. Scotty Arfield we pray is fit because we’ll need him and his durability on this surface. And the last man? It’s a toss up between Todd Cantwell and Malik Tillman.

Up front? Simple enough – Kent, Morelos, and Sakala. We believe the latter is available again after becoming a dad again.

So, your Ibrox Noise predicted XI at Livi today:

McLaughlin; Tavernier, Sands, Davies, Barisic; Kamara, Arfield, Cantwell; Kent, Morelos, Sakala

Cantwell is more likely to be more durable on this surface than Tillman, who is hardly known for his toughness, and Beale will be wanting to save him for the final as it is. He’ll want to save Cantwell too but a lack of personnel makes that tough to do.

We really, really hope our prediction is wrong, and Goldson makes it – because that frees Sands up for midfield where he’s much stronger. Equally, even one single first-choice mid being fit helps us enormously as well.

But we’ll find out around 13:45 or so who was fit and who gets the nod.

This is a big one – Livi are a tough opponent and on a horrible surface, and it’s the last place we’d want to go before the big final next week, because we cannot afford to lose anyone else. We hope some big recoveries make this prediction totally wrong today.

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