With rotation surely set to come into effect, we take a look at who Steven Gerrard could pick ahead of the Kilmarnock clash today.
The Gers were solid and organised once more in the 0-0 draw in Maribor on Thursday night. The stalemate was enough for them to book their Europa League play-off place against Ufa of Russia next week.
Once again, the defence as well as Allan McGregor came in for rave reviews. The latter in particular was lauded for another series of stunning stops that kept Rangers ahead.
Gerrard’s troops now take an unenviable trip to Rugby Park this afternoon to face another side known for their organisation. Killie have been consistently impressive under Steve Clarke, and are known for their toughness to break down. Therefore, you could draw comparisons about how both Clarke and Gerrard work.
However, with a defeat sending either side out of the Betfred Cup this afternoon, there’s no room for pleasantries.
MORE RANGERS STORIES
The Rangers manager is sure to tinker with a bit of rotation. Key men up until now could be set to drop out to try and keep things fresh. Gerrard has a challenge on his hands over the next few weeks to keep his squad free of fatigue.
The first change that should be made is Borna Barisic returning for Andy Halliday. Former Livingston man Halliday put in a great shift on Thursday night, but doesn’t have that same quality on the ball as Barisic.
The Croatian impressed many on his debut last weekend against St Mirren. For large spells, he was adding some directness and quality down the left, with a keen ability to get crosses into the penalty area. Rangers need to stretch Kilmarnock to try and break them down, and Barisic is the perfect man for that down the left.
Down the other end of the pitch, another change should occur today.
Alfredo Morelos has had an impressive start to the season – that can’t be denied. However, the Colombian needs to be fresh for some key matches coming up, and could do with the rest. This, in turn, provides a terrific chance for Umar Sadiq to prove his worth today.
Rangers supporters are frustrated at not seeing enough of the on-loan Roma man so far. Sadiq arrived with a good reputation, but other than cameo appearances, he hasn’t had a chance to show his worth.
Gerrard could do both Morelos and Sadiq favours today and swap them around. Morelos could always simply sit on the bench in case worse comes to worst.
Daniel Candeias did what Daniel Candeias does the other night in Maribor. Running himself into the ground, the right-winger was a constant menace with his energy and pace.
It’s likely, however, that the Portuguese doesn’t get another starting slot this afternoon. Expect on-loan Liverpool man Ryan Kent to slot back in, with width a huge aspect of the game today. Kent has been decent so far during his time at Ibrox, but is yet to have a real big-game performance. Today could very well be that day.
It won’t be a case of a total overhaul when it comes to squad selection this afternoon. However, Gerrard is likely to make a few in order for things to keep ticking over nicely.
Here is the predicted XI below:
ALLAN MCGREGOR (GK)
JAMES TAVERNIER (RB)
NIKOLA KATIC (CB)
CONNOR GOLDSON (CB)
BORNA BARISIC (LB)
LASSANA COULIBALY (CDM)
OVIE EJARIA (CM)
SCOTT ARFIELD (CAM)
RYAN KENT (LM)
JAMIE MURPHY (RM)
UMAR SADIQ (ST)