Raskin & Cortes start; predicted Rangers XI v Hearts

Raskin & Cortes start; predicted Rangers XI v Hearts
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Rangers new Colombian signing Oscar Cortes warms up mduring the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Livingston FC at Ibrox Stadium on February 03, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangers take the field today in yet another ‘must-win’ match, a titanic clash v third-placed Hearts who, incredibly, are currently in better form than Rangers, having dropped one less point than the Famous.

It will be far from an easy one for the home side, and Ibrox Noise tries to get inside the head of Philippe Clement and predict what we think will be the starting XI in Govan today.

Naturally, goals, Butland.

In defence is already where things get messier. Obviously Tav and Goldson, but there’s a case for Leon Balogun to get the nod as well, but then John Souttar has been in very good form. Meanwhile, Borna Barisic started the last one but isn’t in vintage form any more, and Ridvan would hope to start.

In midfield it begins at Lundstram, but his partner is likely to be either Diomande, Raskin or Sterling – given the loss of Todd Cantwell in front of them, Dio may start there, so between Sterling and Raskin, it’s a toss up between the better player and the manager’s sort of ‘preference’ in the Belgian.

Attacking midfield? We don’t know if Matondo is ready on the wings but Cortes, McCausland, and Wright are, while Lawrence and Dio await in the 10 slot.

Up front surely it has to be Dessers albeit it’s Silva in the media for the club at the moment.

See, thing is, like most managers, Clement doesn’t pick his strongest suit, rarely does, he leaves bits of it on the bench to have options later. So it’s rarely a strongest XI that gets announced.

That said, we go with:

Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Ridvan; Lundstram, Raskin; Cortes, Diomande, McCausland; Dessers

We’d love to see Sterling start but can’t see that happening.

So we’ll see how wrong we were come quarter to 2!

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