Rangers travel to Somerset Park on Sunday to face Ayr United in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup. With the team in decent form of late, even including the defeat against Hibs, there will be some expectation of a strong result in this match.
AYR UNITED LAST 5 RESULTS
Arbroath (Home, League), 2-1 defeat
Raith (Away, League), 1-1 draw
Arbroath (Home, Cup), 4-1 win
Queen’s Park (Away, League), 4-1 win
Alloa (Home, League), 2-1 defeat
Ayr currently sit second in League One after 24 games. They’ve scored 64 goals, and have been praised for some of their football this season. Currently managed by Ian McCall, one player Rangers fans may remember from recent years is Lawrence Shankland. His move to Aberdeen didn’t work out for him, but he looked like a talented player when at Queen’s Park. Shankland is the top scorer in the league for Ayr on 17 goals, with teammate Craig Moore not far behind on 13. With nothing to lose and confidence from a good league campaign, Ayr will present a challenge at their own ground.
For Rangers, this is a match where recent good work has to be continued. A performance as insipid as the one against Fraserburgh would likely end in defeat. The team needs to play well, and take the chance to enjoy a full week without a match afterwards.
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UP
I think Docherty will start this match, as he’s going to be required against Hamilton. At the time of writing, there’s been no further update on the Declan John injury, so I’m assuming he’ll miss out. Alnwick will be given this match to keep him sharp, and Cummings given another to help with his match fitness. That aside, it’ll be a strong team that plays to try and minimise any chance of an upset.
These matches are often a lot less enjoyable than expected. Ayr will be fired up, but won’t play an open game for fear of being picked apart. Rangers will find the motivation to play at a high tempo difficult to summon, as is natural in this sort of fixture. Hopefully, players such as Docherty and Cummings will be looking to impress and that will push others on to a higher level as well.
In terms of a prediction, I think Rangers will win this game 3-0.
What is your prediction for the match? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!