On Sunday at 3 pm, we face Sheffield Wednesday in our final friendly of this pre-season. With so many Rangers travelling down, the game is sure to be played in a great atmosphere and has the potential to be a good game of football.

Wednesday have a number of players in their squad which you’d be confident are good enough to play for Rangers. There wouldn’t have been many complaints had we signed George Boyd this summer, for example. Players like Jordan Rhodes, Steven Fletcher, Fernando Forestieri and Barry Bannan have more than enough ability to make this a real test. Like ourselves, they have a Portuguese manager who likes to play a high-pressing, direct style of game. Ex-Celtic players like Gary Hooper, Glenn Loovens, and Ross Wallace will certainly be up for the game. If we want to continue the recent upturn in mood, we’ll have to play well in this one.

They come into the game unbeaten in their friendlies so far. They’ve recently drawn with Ferense and Vitoria de Setubal, and beat Doncaster Rovers in midweek. They’ve rotated their starting side a lot, but you’d imagine they’ll be looking to start with what they consider to be their strongest team.

In terms of our lineup to start the game, I expect we’ll see the same as we played against Marseille.





With Kranjcar on the left, tucked inside to influence the game from there.

The match report from our recent closed-door game against Watford didn’t give us any information on what subs were used. As such, it’s difficult to predict what approach we’ll take here. Do some players get the full 90 minutes so as to be best prepared for the league opener? Or do we make wholesale changes to protect them somewhat? With both sides looking to be ready for next weekend, will the pace of the game mean certain players won’t be risked? If we knew who got game time on Wednesday, we may have been able to take some educated guesses.

I think we’ll see Rossiter, Pena, Morelos, and Wilson all get on as a minimum. Lee Hodson hasn’t been involved much in pre-season so far, so he may be used as well to get his fitness up.

The result tomorrow is of far less importance than the need for a high-intensity game. We’ve had too many matches behind closed-doors which aren’t going to get the team as sharp as they need to be. We have a difficult start to the league and a real need to win the first three league matches at least. As such, we need Wednesday to come out at us and make the game as energetic as the atmosphere will be.

Are you one of the many thousands going to Sheffield? Any thoughts on the game? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!