It’s not often we go into a Motherwell match with the Steelmen ahead of the Famous 5 matches into the season, but here we are.
Yes, Stuart Kettlewell’s side sit third with Beale’s men a very poor fourth, and while a win takes us third again, that we’re fighting for bronze at this point is far from ideal.
That all said, what starting XI is Michael Beale likely to select?
Well, this is new territory for Rangers fans – a manager’s first midweek then weekend fixture is always intriguing territory, and there are two ways it goes.
Either he goes for continuity and tries to select as much of the same team as possible, or he freshens things up to reinvigorate the side, who, admittedly, did look laboured in the first half.
All we know for sure is Butland, Tav and Goldson will play, and after that is where the guesswork begins.
So beside them? We think he’ll stick with Davies and Barisic – Ridvan seems as far away as ever from the first team, and Davies appears to have got his foot in the door ahead of John Souttar. Leon Balogun might as well leave at this point.
Midfield? Well, still no Cantwell or Raskin, so likely the same as before, but possibly with Jack in there this time.
None of Roofe, Matondo or Lawrence especially shone midweek but there’s plenty of options up there, even if few of them are particularly good.
So, your (rather tenuous) Ibrox Noise predicted XI:
Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, Barisic; Cifuentes, Jack, Lawrence; Sima, Roofe, Matondo
We don’t need two (or more) sitting mids and we think Cifuentes and Jack will take turns to play the 8 and 6. Lawrence will play the Cantwell role.
But we’ll see in a few hours what Beale has come up with.