Rangers fans have reacted on Twitter after the Gers’ starting XI was confirmed for Sunday evening’s Scottish Cup third round clash against Cove Rangers.
Steven Gerrard recently made it clear that the Scottish Cup is the priority for Rangers between now and the end of the season [Glasgow Times].
However, an assignment against lower-league opposition provides an opportunity for rotation and Gary McAllister confirmed during Friday’s pre-match press conference that chances would be given to some fringe players [RangersTV].
In all, the manager has made seven changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Celtic Park prior to the international break.
Jon McLaughlin makes his first appearance of 2021 between the sticks, as Allan McGregor is given a rare rest.
Connor Goldson and Filip Helander continue at centre-back but Leon Balogun and Borna Barisic drop out of right-back and left-back respectively, with Nathan Patterson and Calvin Bassey coming into the side.
In midfield, Joe Aribo makes way for Scott Arfield, who joins Steven Davis and Glen Kamara in a strong-looking midfield three.
Finally, it’s all change in the final third, as Ianis Hagi, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos drop out for Kemar Roofe, Scott Wright and Jermain Defoe, with Wright making his first-ever Rangers start.
Will this side be strong enough to secure progression to the next round?
Many supporters were delighted to see Wright make the XI but others questioned why fellow fringe players like Cedric Itten and Jack Simpson had missed out while the likes of Filip Helander and Steven Davis continue despite their heavy international workloads.
Here’s a selection of reactions from Twitter:
Itten and Simpson can't get a start at home to Cove Rangers, when Helander has just played 2 games for Sweden. No King on bench either. Do we really need to risk Davis too? 😳
— 💙 (@Andrews22571) April 4, 2021
Interesting that Itten can’t even start a game like this.
— Willy (@wmwscgbm87) April 4, 2021
Strong but I wish it was Itten instead of Defoe
— CHAMPION Ryan Jack 🏆 (@RampantRyanJack) April 4, 2021
— Mason (@__maason__) April 4, 2021
Simpson on the bench😔
— Declan Little (@Declan_1872_) April 4, 2021
Can see big itten wanting out shortly
— Gary Caw (@garycawnew) April 4, 2021
What does this team selection say for guys on the periphery in much need of game time, such as Jack Simpson?
— Still staying at home every other Saturday (@CF3Loyal) April 4, 2021
What does Itten have to do to start a game lol https://t.co/DETFU8sslF
— James (@ImF55linit) April 4, 2021
Rangers’ potential fourth and fifth round opponents were confirmed earlier on Sunday.