After a two-week lay-off, Rangers return to action on Saturday against Livingston. The home match signals the start of a crucial period.

Potentially season defining games lie in wait. Villarreal visit Ibrox next Thursday evening, before second-placed Hearts and the dangerous Aberdeen make up the opposition, in back-to-back SPL fixtures.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With the exception of the League Cup, The Teddy Bears approach December with everything still to play for.

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One point from the summit of their Europa League group and two behind the SPL’s pacesetters, they are in a strong position.

However, the situation is precarious. Despite the side’s outstanding home record this season, Saturday’s opposition have made it clear that they won’t roll over.

 

Gary Holt’s men triumphed at the Tony Macaroni Arena in September and patience will be required to break them down at the weekend.

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(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Looking ahead, Villarreal – still smarting from Kyle Lafferty’s late equaliser in the reverse fixture – will be out for revenge at Ibrox.

While Hearts have seen a dip in form of late, they are always a tough proposition at Tynecastle. Aberdeen will then travel to Glasgow in high spirits, on the back of their League Cup semi-final triumph over Gerrard’s men.

All this ensures there is little time for Rangers to feel their way into this period. Only a handful of the squad played for their country over the break. The rest should be fresh and raring to go.

The Gers need to pick up where they left off with the mauling of Motherwell. That way, their domestic and European ambitions can remain on track.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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