With Killie coming fast, Rangers manager Michael Beale has just 5 days to work on his team for the opening day of the season.
It’s safe to say preseason wasn’t convincing, but as Ibrox Noise has urged, this weekend onwards is where the manager and his rebuild start to be judged.
There will always be the ‘give them a chance ffs’ and ‘just one match ffs’ brigade who will excuse sub-par performances and results, having moved on from ‘it’s only preseason ffs’ when it was convenient to use that excuse.
But the reality is real Rangers fans, not overly thrilled with this summer’s results as it stands, will judge properly from Saturday onwards when it truly, truly counts.
So, what XI will Michael Beale pick?
This is probably the most unpredictable yet predictable XI we’ve ever seen. It’s a plastic pitch, which we know Beale won’t want to risk some of his assets on, and yet he absolutely critically needs to overcome Kilmarnock, a historically dodgy host to go to.
So let’s have a go shall we?
In goal, well it’s got to be Butland surely. That’s why he joined.
In defence… James Tavernier (he’ll play short of a broken leg), John Souttar, Leon Balogun and Ridvan Yilmaz. It’s the best we have aside Tavernier, albeit Dujon Sterling might have something to say about that.
Midfield will see John Lundstram, Nico Raskin and Todd Cantwell. That’s it, we can’t see any new men in there. Not that we’ve signed any aside Dowell.
Lammers, Dessers and Danilo.
So what’s our thinking behind all this?
Nothing in preseason worked – it was a complete and total fail, so Michael Beale will try something back to what worked a bit when he first took over – the narrow 4-3-3 that worked well.
The defence picks itself due to lack of options otherwise, while we’ve not signed anyone notable for midfield at all aside Dowell, and he’s not impressed yet.
Up front – we do need firepower, and we can see Lammers sitting behind Danilo and Dessers in our expensive heavyweight attack. Of course, the door will remain open at the back, and that’s a huge issue.
But your Ibrox Noise XI?
Butland; Tavernier; Souttar, Balogun, Ridvan; Lundstram, Raskin, Cantwell; Lammers; Danilo, Dessers.
We could, and have many times, be wildly wrong here.