Tonight, Rangers face Motherwell at Ibrox, looking to get back to winning ways after two poor defeats. The players will need to pick up their level of performance massively against a side who will be looking to play a physical, spoiling style.

Motherwell have struggled in terms of form recently. The injury to Louis Moult, plus the news that he’s leaving in January, has affected their results. Since their defeat in the League Cup Final, they’ve picked up only 2 points from an available 18. On paper, Rangers should be very confident of winning.


Celtic (away), 5-1 defeat
Hearts (away), 1-0 defeat
Partick Thistle (away), 3-2 defeat
Kilmarnock (away), 1-0 defeat
Dundee (home), 1-1 draw

The 2 points Motherwell have picked up lately have both come at home. They’ve moved back to their preferred 3-5-2 shape recently. Players like Cadden, Tait and Tanner are the ones to look out for in the absence of their top scorer. After their success in the League Cup Semi Final against Rangers using a very physical style, it’ll be surprising if they don’t play in a similar way. With John Beaton as the referee, one who can be negatively influenced and will be heavily criticised by the fans from the first whistle, they’ll fancy their chances of being able to impose their style on the match.

As said above, this should be a game Rangers are confident of winning. However, the home form this season has been extremely poor. Add to that the two recent defeats and upcoming match against Celtic, and there’s likely to be a lot on the minds of the fans and players. Without the likes of Wallace or Dorrans to be a calming influence, a lot will rest on the shoulders of Bruno Alves. He looks set to start the match, and Ryan Jack comes back from suspension. Rangers will miss the movement and pace of Josh Windass through suspension, though.






With Windass out, and Candeias in poor form, it’s likely we’ll go back to the 4-4-2 with the diamond midfield. There’s a suggestion that Kranjcar may start the match, but I’m going to predict it will be Pena. Herrera will start as there’s a lack of options up front, and it’ll be good to see him play more than 5 or 10 minutes for a change. The aerial dominance of Alves will be key in a match where the defence will be put under pressure in that way. I’d expect Ryan Bowman to start up front for Motherwell, and to asked to sit on Wilson to try and bully him.

The influence of Ryan Jack will be key in this game. In the semi-final defeat, we created a number of good chances at 0-0, then fell apart after they scored. We missed out the midfield far too often and played long balls, exactly how Motherwell wanted us to play. Tonight, we need Jack to dominate the midfield, to take the ball and control the tempo constantly. McCrorie and Holt will provide plenty of energy and dig, and that should allow him to do this.

It’s not easy predicting a Rangers result at the moment. Even with Motherwell’s struggles, you suspect they’ll play well against us on the night. With the home crowd likely to be very edgy, that could lead to a scrappy match, which would suit the away side perfectly. I’m going to predict a high-scoring match, and one that Rangers just edge 3-2.

What’s your prediction for tonight? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!