Tomorrow, Rangers take on Dundee at Ibrox, looking to record a first home win of the season.
Dundee are currently second-bottom of the Premiership, taking a point from their first 4 matches. Whilst many fans and pundits feel their performances have deserved better, they look set to have a difficult season. Injuries to key players have already had an impact, and the relative inexperience of Neil McCann as manager may be a factor in a relegation fight. Sofien Moussa, who started the season well, is still recovering from a knee injury.
LAST 5 DUNDEE RESULTS:
Dundee 1 v 2 Ross County (Premiership)
Dundee 2 v 1 Dundee United (Betfred Cup)
Hamilton Accies 3 v 0 Dundee (Premiership)
Aberdeen 2 v 1 Dundee (Premiership)
Dundee 1 v 1 Hibernian (Premiership)
It’s difficult to be certain of how Dundee will approach the game. Caixinha praised the positive approach of McCann in previous games. He seems pretty certain they’ll look to play that way again. Players like Scott Allan, Paul McGowan and Roarie Deacon are certainly more attack minded than defensive. Cammy Kerr is a good full back going forward. Faissal El Bakhtoui is a danger in attacking areas. However, McCann is under pressure for results, and may see tomorrow as a game where a draw could be achievable. There’s a strong chance Dundee will look to sit in and play on the counter. McCann may be saying they won’t park the bus, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look to be hard to break down.
From Rangers perspective, it’s pretty certain we’ll go 4-4-2 again. Our training pictures give little away this time. I would like to see both Pena and Herrera start the match. Whilst I wouldn’t take Dundee lightly, I feel Herrera has shown signs he’s ready for games, and Pena is only going to improve through time on the pitch. I don’t believe the team will start this way, but I hope for the following:
With Pena on the left, playing narrower and given some freedom to get forward.
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There was no sign of Lee Wallace in the training pictures, so it’s possible Declan John may start at left back. I suspect Caixinha will start with Miller and Windass in the place of the Mexicans in the team I propose. We’ll be hoping that Morelos can continue his goalscoring form, and that we play with the pace and intensity of our first few games this season. A quick start and early goal would see Dundee have to come out more, which is the sort of scenario we prefer.
Alves v El Bakhtoui
Bruno Alves is coming back from international duty with Portugal, and had a short illness whilst there. There’s a chance his energy levels won’t be at their highest. Obviously, he has plenty of experience to cover for that, but El Bakhtoui is an unconventional player who could cause problems. The Dundee striker doesn’t play in the way most forwards do, with his footballing upbringing being very different.
Jack v Allan
Ryan Jack has started the season very well. He’s integral to how Rangers look to play. When we want to dominate possession in the opposition half, he’s the player who keeps us high up the pitch with his reading of the game and quick forward passing. Scott Allan will look on with a bit of jealousy, full in the knowledge he could and should have been a Rangers player. He’s a very attacking midfielder who can spot a pass, although he’s prone to trying the through ball too often. Given time and space, he has the ability to hurt teams, so Jack will need to be on his game again.
Morelos v O’Dea
Alfredo Morelos is in great form, and it’s exciting for Rangers fans to watch. However, despite being probably the best player on the park against Hearts, he didn’t get a single shot away when up against Christophe Berra. In O’Dea, he faces another experienced defender, although not one of similar ability. O’Dea can be prone to a mistake, but if the game gets scrappy and Rangers are forced to go long, he’ll most likely be more comfortable.
I’m almost loathe to make a prediction after the way the Hearts game went. I’ll go for 2-0 to Rangers.
Tweet us with your predictions @rangersnewsuk and we’ll be happy to share!