Tonight, Rangers take on Dunfermline in the second round of the League Cup at Ibrox. We’ve obviously asked them to lie down and let us win comfortably, and our players have been instructed to abuse every ex-Rangers man involved if they don’t help us out enough.

Dunfermline come into the game with 2 wins and 3 draws in their last 5 competitive matches:

League Cup Section: Elgin City (home), 6-0 win
League Cup Section: East Fife (away), 0-0 draw
League Cup Section: Peterhead (home), 5-1 win
League Cup Section: Hearts (away), 2-2 draw
Championship, Week 1: Livingston (away), 1-1 draw

There will be some familiar faces in their team as Dean Shiels, Nicky Clark and Fraser Aird are part of their squad. All three will be determined to play well and show they should be more highly regarded by the Rangers support. Kallum Higginbotham, who has spent some time at Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock in recent years, is also a player with experience at a decent level.

Dunfermline seem to prefer a 4-4-2 under manager Allan Johnston (another ex-Rangers player). Pedro Caixinha believes that their recent match against Hearts will give the best indication of how they intend to play, and that was the system they used on that day. However, I suspect they’ll be a little more defensive overall than on that day, and look to get more bodies behind the ball in defence. Their league match against Livingston would have ended in defeat if not for a penalty saved by their keeper late in the game, so they’ll be aware of some defensive frailties.

Allan Johnston has said that he needs an amazing performance from every one of his team to get a result. They will look to the performances against Progres and hope that we don’t show up on the night.

In terms of the Rangers team likely to start the game, I don’t think there will be any major changes from Sunday. Caixinha confirmed that we currently have no injury issues in the squad. If Tavernier is fit enough to start, he’ll come in, and it’s possible Alnwick will start instead of Foderingham, but that will be it. Caixinha’s press conference yesterday confirmed that we’re likely to play a similar starting eleven.

Predicted Team:





Like many fans, I’m hoping to see the likes of Morelos, Pena and Rossiter get more game time. At this stage though, we can’t afford any poor results. The team deemed our strongest at the moment needs more games together to get to their best. Either approach is risky – disrupt the team and possibly lose a bit in terms of performance, or play the strongest side and risk injuries for the more important matches. The latter is the higher percentage choice in terms of winning the game, though.

The last time we faced Dunfermline in the League Cup at Ibrox was in 2010, and it ended in a 7-2 win. I don’t imagine we’ll see so many goals from this one. Only Kenny Miller and Joe Cardle will be involved tonight in terms of players who played in that match.

My prediction for the game is a 3-0 win, in a match not hugely entertaining but comfortable overall.