Danilo & McCausland start: predicted Rangers XI v Dons

Danilo & McCausland start: predicted Rangers XI v Dons
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 09: Philippe Clement, Manager of Rangers, looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 match between Rangers FC and AC Sparta Praha at Ibrox Stadium on November 09, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It might be a fraction early for team news, but Rangers’ next match is a big one – at Pittodrie in Philippe Clement’s first real domestic test of any major gravity as Rangers’ Belgian boss continues to work his magic on this previously beleaguered squad.

And what lineup do we think he will plump for?

Well, Ross McCausland is sadly a massive injury doubt for the weekend, the rising star of Rangers having picked up an untimely knock against Finland and is ‘touch and go’ for the trip north, so that must be taken into account.

But otherwise, the injury list has cleared up a lot. The big names returning were John Souttar, Rabbi Matondo and Nico Raskin, with it being viewed by the manager that all three could well be fit in time, but he wasn’t completely sure. But we’re going to work on the incredibly optimistic basis that essentially all the squad is available, however unlikely that may be.

So, in goal it’s clearly Butland. We should probably omit this part of the predictions given he picks himself.

In defence it already gets a little more interesting. Sure, we know James Tavernier and Connor Goldson are back to complete immunity, but the other two slots are up for grabs among 5 players.

John Souttar, Leon Balogun, Ben Davies, Ridvan Yilmaz and Borna Barisic are all in contention here. While many fans would actually pick Souttar and Balogun centrally, Goldson is restored to untouchable for now, so we see no change there.

Meaning it’s the other two slots, and the chances of Barisic not starting we reckon are zero. The final slot is down to Souttar and Balogun we’d think, with Ben Davies dropping down the pecking order a little, so we’ll say Balogun here.

In midfield it’s a host of returning talent. Cifuentes, Raskin, Jack and Raskin now make up the options, which is infinitely better than the previous depth. It’s two of four and we’d imagine Lunny is at no risk at all. Jack, however, hasn’t really shone next to him, and the manager may be keen to give Raskin or Cifu a run.

Attacking midfield has a few options to it now as well. Sima’s hit a little bit of duff form recently, having had a mercurial run of goals, and he’s just been a lot less effective, but Tom Lawrence in his position is fit now and ready and has been looking good.

On the other side Rabbi Matondo and Ross McCausland vie for the slot, and if he’s fit, we can’t see any reason for McCausland not to take his place on the right.

Central? Lammers or Cantwell here, and this boss really likes Lammers, so we suspect that’s his pick.

Danilo up top.

So our predicted XI to face Aberdeen on Sunday:

Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Lundstram, Jack; Lawrence, Lammers, McCausland; Danilo.


McCrorie, Sterling, Souttar, Davies, Cifuentes, Raskin, Cantwell, Matondo, Sima, Dessers.

Definitely stronger looking.

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