On Sunday, Rangers kick off their Scottish Cup campaign in the fourth round against Fraserburgh. The Highland League side welcome the club to their 3000 capacity stadium with the Sky cameras in attendance. The limited tickets and almost 4-hour journey will provide the Rangers fans in attendance with a unique experience.
Fraserburgh have qualified for the last 32 of the Cup by beating opponents of a similar level. Their first round was a 2-1 win against Forres Mechanics, the last Highland League team Rangers faced. They then followed that up by beating Edinburgh University 2-0, and Spartans 2-1. In the league, they currently sit in 2nd place, having just drawn 2-2 away from home with the team in third. The player to look out for in their team is Gary Harris, who has scored 20 goals in 24 matches this season.
This game represents something of a strange challenge for Rangers. There’s a number of new signings in need of game time, but they won’t have been expecting a debut like this. Some of the foreign players won’t have seen a set-up like this in their time. The pitch won’t be great, the weather likewise, and the opponents beyond fired up. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for a lot of these players, live on Sky and playing the biggest club in the country. The Rangers players will need to be professional and willing to match the energy levels if they want to impress.
In terms of team selection, it’s a difficult call. Players like Martin, Cummings, Murphy and Goss could all do with games, having not played much of late. However, there’s the Aberdeen game to consider on Wednesday. As the pitch is likely to be heavy, any players carrying a slight injury might not be risked. With so many players out injured for the next month or so, there’s a balance to be found here. The team can’t take this game lightly, but have to consider the upcoming fixtures as well.
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UP
I have a feeling players like Windass, Morelos and Candeias will start on the bench. We’ll look to play the confirmed signings to give them some more game time. Tavernier is suspended, and I think Alnwick will be given this match. If the reported move for Greg Docherty can be completed on time, he may start on the bench as well.
In terms of a prediction, I have a feeling Rangers will go about this game in a professional manner. The performance won’t be particularly great, due to various factors mentioned, but they’ll get the job done. I’m going for a 3-0 win to Rangers.
What are your predictions for Sunday? Are you lucky enough to be going to the game? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!