The penultimate games in the league campaign, one all of us just want to be over with, are this midweek, so here’s a quick look at the games in the top half of the table.
Rangers v Aberdeen
It’s 25 years since we lost to Aberdeen at Ibrox. We’d love to keep that record going. Of all of those games over the years though, this may be one you’d expect us to lose. Aberdeen had a poor result last Friday against Celtic, and with the cup final on the horizon they’ll have the motivation to try and make up for that, along with being the team to break that winless streak in Glasgow’s greatest stadium. In contrast, we look like a team that reflects the supporter feeling of late, just wanting to see out the games and get to the next chapter as quickly as possible, and whilst a few players are working hard to impress, most seem pretty convinced they’ll be leaving and aren’t as motivated as they could be.
In terms of team selection, I believe the only injury issue Aberdeen have is Ryan Jack, who looks set to miss the remaining games (and also rumoured to be a Rangers player for next season – time will tell on that one). I’d imagine they’ll play a strong side, and a physical one as well given our problems at winning the second ball being evident all season. Attacking players like McLean, Hayes and McGinn will get chances to run at us. I think the game will be relatively open, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they dominate possession. When we won at Pittodrie, it was a lot to do with taking advantage of mistakes they made late in the game, which we’ll have to look to do again.
For ourselves, I have a feeling we’ll start with the same team that started on Saturday. As much as the performance dipped once Hearts went down to ten men, we started the game with intent and energy, and I think Pedro was happy with that and will look to use that again. One possible change would be Halliday or Barjonas for Windass, but Josh did cause problems for Hearts early in the game with his running, so he may be given the chance to start again.
I think the level of enthusiasm for our games just now is summed up by the fact that there were no early leaks of the team on Saturday. There was hardly a demand for them in truth.
I think we’ll struggle on Wednesday night, as Aberdeen are a more settled, stronger team who have more to play for at the moment, but I’ll let my heart rule my head in terms of a prediction and say we’ll win it 2-1.
St Johnstone v Hearts
Absolutely nothing to play for in this game in all honesty. St Johnstone will want to keep up their recent good form, Hearts need to do something to arrest this slide, but I suspect both teams will pretty much be in holiday mode. Hearts should have Walker back but Buaben out now due to suspension, and they seem to be struggling for centre-halves at the moment. I’d expect a St Johnstone win in that one.
Partick v Celtic
It’s looking increasingly likely that Celtic will finish the season unbeaten. Thistle are pretty much done, having lost every game since the split, and have achieved what they set out to. They’ll be lucky not to lose this game by a few goals.
Do you think we can maintain that record against Aberdeen on Wednesday night? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!