Matondo and Arfield start: predicted XI for Rangers at Pittodrie

Matondo and Arfield start: predicted XI for Rangers at Pittodrie
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 15: Scott Arfield of Rangers celebrates with team mate Alfredo Morelos after he scores his team's fifth goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and St. Mirren FC at on April 15, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangers travel to Pittodrie in the usual ‘must-win’ clash v our Aberdonian friends, knowing that while the league is 99.999% gone, Rangers must seize our slim chances if they arise, and they did yesterday.

So what team will Michael Beale select to do the job?

There are a lot of absences with quite a few key figures out, so let’s have a look at who we think Michael Beale will select.

In goal, McGregor as always. McCrorie we think still isn’t fit, while McLaughlin is beyond surplus but will be on the bench as always.

In defence, there’s very few options outside of James Tavernier, John Souttar and Ben Davies. It’s left back we have some depth in, with fit-again Ridvan trying to push Borna for a place. But clearly Barisic will get the nod.

Midfield… well the only fit players we have are Kamara, Lundstram and Raskin, so it’s likely to be Lunny and Nico again, with Jack out medium term yet again and Kamara out of favour.

Attacking midfield will obviously see the in-form Todd Cantwell taking his usual slot with Scott Arfield pushing.

Wings are interesting – there’s no Kent, and Scott Wright is fit, while on the other side Fashion Sakala and Malik Tillman are the options, not to mention the returning Rabbi Matondo who can fill both sides. Last but not least Scotty who can fill almost any slot in the front 6.

And up front? Morelos and Colak.

So your Ibrox Noise prediction:

McGregor; Tavernier, Souttar, Davies, Barisic; Raskin, Lundstram, Cantwell; Matondo, Morelos, Arfield

This is going to be a physical battle, with pace a huge advantage as well, and we can’t see Tillman with his laziness and lack of physical presence not to mention pace being a tool to use. Morelos isn’t exactly a massive powerhouse up front but he’s clearly in favour over Colak, even if the Croatian is probably physically stronger.

Both Fashion and Tillman on the bench? Wright? Well Arfield will offer the graft and physical intelligence that none of them have, and in this fixture that’s vital.

So that’s what we think Beale will go with.

But we’re probably completely wrong.

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