There’s no denying the gravity of what’s at stake tonight at Ibrox.
It is, definitively, our match of the season thus far, with a likely hungry Aberdeen, buoyed by their new manager, and buoyant off the back of their point v Celtic at the weekend.
And for Rangers, top of the table awaits – top of the table for the first time since January 2022 under Giovanni van Bronckhorst whose Sevilla Rangers crumbled domestically under the weight of expectation and trying to carry all the tournaments.
They relinquished their lead on the 29th of January that year and haven’t been back to the summit since.
In two years.
Rangers only trail Celtic by a goal difference of two now, and of course by those three points in hand.
Win by 3-0 or better, and Rangers are definitively at the top of the table on equal fixtures for one evening, with Celtic playing the following night. Rangers will still have a match in hand v Ross County to be played in 10 days.
What’s more important? The three points or 3 points and top of the table?
Some have said you win no prizes for being top in February, and on some level that is true, but then the same punters would argue the same about March, and that’s the month we won 55 in in 2021.
So Ibrox Noise’s view here is going top is fantastic for what it means.
But ultimately, getting there means not overlooking the challenge of Aberdeen.
Let’s be absolutely clear – they are suddenly in form, they have a new manager, and the rivalry between our clubs goes back years. Their fans despise us, and they will do everything in their power to get the three points tonight.
Rangers is Aberdeen’s cup final, whether it actually is a cup final or not, every time we play.
Raise their game? In a sense they do, because there’s so much history between our clubs. There’s a real toxicity and the intensity when Aberdeen and Rangers face off is, currently, the biggest in Scotland, with no away fans at Old Firms.
So Rangers will need to be at 100% game.
Let’s not forget Rangers have not beaten the Dons in the league this season – Philippe Clement came undone at Pittodrie and he did make errors that day.
He learned for the cup final, but this is a different beast this evening.
The top of the table awaits Rangers – let’s not screw this up.