If the weather clears, Rangers will face Falkirk in the Quarter Final of the Scottish Cup. There’s been disruptions to training, injuries to worry about and very little by way of hype or excitement. Despite that, the team will be hoping the match makes it so they can continue their recent run of impressive performances.
FALKIRK LEAGUE FORM
In the Scottish Championship, Falkirk currently sit in 8th place. They’ve scored 28 goals in 26 matches, and conceded 39. Of those goals, only 9 have been scored away from home. In the cup, both of their matches have been away from home, with a 1-0 win away to Livingston and a 3-1 win away to Cove Rangers. They’ve kept clean sheets in their last 2 matches, but scored only 1 goal.
TACTICS AND APPROACH
Falkirk seem to prefer a 3-5-2 setup, but they have played a 4-5-1 in some games. Manager Paul Hartley has plenty of experience in Scottish football now. Their squad have players who will be known to plenty of fans. Tom Taiwo, Jordan McGhee, Craig Sibbald, Louis Longridge and Rory Loy have played in Scotland for a long time, and against Rangers on numerous occasions. They play to dominate the ball, averaging 54% possession. Despite being the 3rd lowest scorers in the league, they have the 3rd highest amounts of shots on goal in their league. They also have the highest amount of passes. This tells us that they play an attacking style of football, and are struggling in front of goal. Whether or not they decide to play that way against Rangers will be interesting.
PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR
A number of players mentioned already have shown in the past they have good ability. The players Rangers will be keeping an eye on in this game are Craig Sibbald, Louis Longridge, and Rory Loy. Sibbald is a player who has been linked with moves in the past. Loy is an ex-Rangers youth, capable of scoring goals but not having a great season. Longridge moved from Hamilton in January and has made a good start, scoring a few goals.
At the back, Jordan McGhee was signed from Middlesborough, where he had moved from Hearts. He’s rated as a good prospect, and will be hoping to impress in a match like this.
Falkirk have the second worst defensive record in the Championship. Their style of play is clearly quite open, so as they’re struggling in front of goal they’re leaving space for teams to exploit. It’s possible they’ll look to play a more defensive game at Ibrox. However, they aren’t the strongest there, and given the attacking confidence Rangers have displayed of late, there will be concerns for Hartley.
MORE RANGERS STORIES
At the time of writing, there have been no real updates on injuries. Falkirk would seem to be ok in this regard, and Rangers will most likely have to add Declan John and Jamie Murphy to their injury list. Lee Wallace could be set for a return to the team, and Bruno Alves will continue his comeback.
RANGERS LIKELY APPROACH
For this match, I suspect we’ll see a few changes. I also believe Rangers will change formation, and play the 4-4-2 diamond system used against Ayr United. Players like Alves, Wallace and Cummings need games. If Rangers use that formation, they’ll drop Candeias to the bench, and play Holt next to Goss and Docherty in midfield. Windass will be used just behind the strike pairing of Morelos and Cummings.
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UP
Both Holt and Windass have been yellow carded in previous rounds, so face a suspension for the semi final if they’re booked again and Rangers win the match.
In truth, I don’t see this game going ahead. Whilst the pitch and surrounding areas can be managed, the conditions will be dangerous for travelling supporters. If the game does go ahead, though, I think Rangers will win 4-0 in a confident display. With some players looking to impress, and the big matches coming up, there will be a motivation and energy to the team.
How do you see the game going? Reckon it will beat the weather? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!