Rangers to face major Kilmarnock test at Ibrox

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Rangers to face major Kilmarnock test at Ibrox
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Derek McInnes, Manager of Kilmarnock FC appears on TNT Sports prior to the UEFA Europa League match between Rangers FC and Aris Limassol FC at Ibrox Stadium on November 30, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangers have it very, very tough tomorrow against in-form Kilmarnock – they haven’t lost in the league since Rangers themselves got the three points fortuitously at Rugby Park in February in ‘that’ fixture which cost us Oscar Cortes.

And their record has them, on the last five matches, second in the table. We admit Derek McInnes has worked wonders there, but then, not any bigger wonders than Steve Clarke used to – Kilmarnock are frequently used to being Scotland’s third-placed team and while that’s probably beyond their reach this season, McInnes has them comfortably and deservedly in fourth.

Rangers will have a tough afternoon for sure – a strong Lewis Mayo at the back, the in-form Danny Armstrong (a loose signing target for Rangers) and Kyle Vassell up front to name but three of the personnel Rangers will have to overcome at Ibrox.

We’re absolutely mercifully glad this one wasn’t at Rugby Park to say the least, but it doesn’t mean it’ll be a lot easier.

In many ways with a stressed-out crowd it being at Ibrox the pressure of the stands on the players if it’s not a fast start might actually be worse, and Rangers have been legendarily bad starters in recent months so that is a genuine concern.

McInnes is up for manager of the year, deservedly, and he knows how to get points against the Old Firm – as Rangers boss Philippe Clement says, McInnes has been prolific against Rangers and Celtic this season, and he will seek a win tomorrow, no question.

His renaissance after his Aberdeen exit at Killie has opened a lot of eyes, and while he struggled down south, he clearly knows how to manage in the SPL.

Future Rangers manager? We’ve been there before, and we’ve rejected the idea, and of course he was very much considered and turned us down – at the time we were delighted because the lad was nowhere near ready. We think he’s a bit more so now, but that’s for a future debate.

But Clement will have to pick the right team tomorrow and have his wits about him to get the three points.

Kilmarnock will be absolutely no mugs.

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