Balogun & Matondo start: predicted Rangers XI to face Hibs

Balogun & Matondo start: predicted Rangers XI to face Hibs
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Leon Balogun of Rangers inspects the pitch prior to the Viaplay Cup Semi Final match between Heart of Midlothian and Rangers at Hampden Park on November 05, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As we finally welcome Rangers back, we also host Hibs this weekend, and predicting the XI manager Philippe Clement will pick is the stuff of nightmares.

Without more recent, definitive updates knowing who’s available and who’s out is a bit of a guessing game, but we will give a prediction a go in light of the most up-to-date info we have, and that is, at the time of writing pre-Clement presser.

In goals, obviously Butland.

Back four is equally obviously Tav and Goldson, but the next two are trickier.

John Souttar didn’t have the best international break, and Leon Balogun is chomping at the bit to play. Meanwhile Ridvan is injured from the break and is incredibly touch and go for next weekend, so it’ll be Barisic.

Midfield, Lundstram and Diomande. While Dio was awful v Benfica, the tactics were terrible and did him no favours. He’ll keep his place. Jack still has issues and Raskin hasn’t been in any form since May last year.

Wings… well we’re down in options – Matondo came back unscathed from international duty, but McCausland has issues. Wright is fit but… basically useless, while Cortes is still very much unavailable. Sima is getting closer but still a few weeks off we think. Sterling’s fitness is a concern still. So we really only have Matondo and Wright, unless Silva retains his place in here.

Attacking midfield is actually good – Cantwell is close to being completely fit, and Lawrence is getting stronger. That area is ok.

And up front Dessers, despite the hate, is in good form as is Silva. Curiously that area is actually quite decent at the moment.

So, bearing all that in mind, your Ibrox Noise XI, likely to be hilariously wrong, is:

Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Lundstram, Diomande; Matondo, Cantwell, Silva; Dessers

So many players just aren’t available with fitness and injury concerns, and unless Big Phil gives us great news with a bunch of returns following the international break in his presser, we can’t see much changing on that front.

Hopefully he surprises us.

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