Rangers play their next match in the busy December schedule when they host St Johnstone on Saturday. The team will be looking for a fifth consecutive win in the league to continue recent momentum. It’s a position no one would have predicted after the defeat to Dundee three weeks ago.

St Johnstone are having a difficult season after years of top 6 finishes. Their squad isn’t playing well consistently, and may need some refreshing. However, they do have capable players and can get results on their day. Despite their poor form, this is a game that they’ll see as a no-lose situation.


Celtic (home), 4-0 defeat
Hibernian (away), 2-1 win
Kilmarnock (home), 2-1 defeat
Hamilton (away), 1-0 win
Aberdeen (home), 3-0 defeat

Only one team in the league has scored fewer goals than St Johnstone, and that’s bottom-placed Partick Thistle. After a fast start, they’ve really struggled for goals. They announced the signing of a striker recently, but that’s obviously for January. Players like Liam Craig and Blair Alston have been on the bench recently. Whilst I believe both will come in on Saturday, they’ll be without on-loan Michael O’Halloran. On paper, they can’t be confident.

As mentioned earlier though, this is a game they’ll approach with some freedom. At their best, St Johnstone are very difficult to play against. They will defend deep, use pace on the break and offer a set piece threat. Whilst Rangers won fairly comfortably in the meeting earlier in the season, there were patches of the game where the defending had to be resolute.

It’s also worth noting that Rangers haven’t exactly performed well in the last two matches. Winning when playing poor is a good trait, but not one to rely upon. Ryan Jack is available for this game, and will make a difference to the team’s ability to keep possession. His accurate forward passing has been missed as well. At the time of writing, the press conference hasn’t been held yet. It’s assumed that Miller will miss out through injury. If so, I predict we’ll start with the 4-4-2 again as below:






There’s a chance of a 4-2-3-1 shape being used, with Candeias and Windass wide.

Against Ross County, when playing this shape, the players were all too close to each other. Miller and Peña were making the same runs and it was easier to defend against. As St Johnstone are likely to defend deep as well, it’s possible that issue could arise again. Morelos will be happier to stay in contact with opposing centre halves than Miller, but Windass won’t have a lot of space to run into. If Peña starts, he’ll be important as he finds space in tight areas really well. Even when he’s not on the ball, he gives opposing teams some questions to consider. If the team can all play a bit more securely on the ball than that day, every player will benefit.

Defensively, we’ll need Wilson and Alves to be strong at set pieces. John and Tavernier will see plenty of the ball, so McCrorie will be vital as cover.

In terms of a prediction, I think the game will be somewhat uninspiring. I reckon Rangers will win 2-0, but will have to work hard to break St Johnstone down.

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