SPFL Top 6 Weekend Preview: Rangers looking to bounce back against Thistle

Saturday 6th May – Celtic v St Johnstone

Even without the “Scottish N’Golo Kante” (seriously, Brendan just can’t help himself can he?), you’d have to imagine Celtic will win comfortably in this one. Tommy Wright does make his side difficult to beat, and they’ve got a cracking result last weekend away to Aberdeen, but it looks increasingly likely that Celtic will go through the season unbeaten. From our perspective, any result somewhat helps – seeing that record broken would be great, but St Johnstone dropping points would take some pressure off as well.

Sunday 7th May

Hearts v Aberdeen

I’ll get the later kick off out of the way first.

Doesn’t feel like so long ago that Aberdeen visited Tynecastle (does anyone else’s phone correct that to Gynecomastia? Do I even want to know what that word means?) in a game we all hoped they’d drop points in, and they gave Hearts a doing. I only really remember it because I had the game on a both-teams-to-score accumulator and Sam Nicolson missed an absolute sitter early on.

Neither side will be happy with their result last weekend, and Hearts fans were booing their team at points during the 2-2 draw with Thistle. Aberdeen are miles better, but we’d love to see a Hearts win, just to add some excitement to the race for second place if we can win our game. Aberdeen have a cup final on the minds of the players, and some have their next contract to worry about – those can have an effect on performances in the “routine” games. I think it’ll be an Aberdeen win, though.

Partick Thistle v Rangers

After the craziness and disappointment of the last couple of weeks, we have, what will seem, a rather sedate visit to the West End to face Thistle. In our game there earlier in the season, we were very lucky to win 2-1, and Thistle will be looking to avoid being the only side to lose every game to us this season.

Kenny Miller aside, it’s difficult to argue for the inclusion of anyone based on the last two games. At the time of writing, we have reported issues with Holt, Hyndman and Toral, a full starting midfield three who may all miss out. Lee Wallace isn’t ready yet, and longer term absentees like Kranjcar are most likely to be kept away until pre-season, despite being back in training. I’m not sure what we’ll do in terms of the starting team, but my guess is:

Foderingham; Tavernier, Wilson, Hill, Beerman; Holt, Halliday, Windass; McKay, Miller, Dodoo

With Dodoo and McKay wide.

We may even get to see the likes of Burt or Atakayi make the bench, with not much left to play for.

Partick Thistle offered very little in the game against us at Ibrox recently, but I have a feeling Sunday will be a tight game. Our team will need to start well to get last weekend out of their system, and Thistle will want to make it difficult with direct, quick play at the start of the match. They’ll probably go with Azeez up front as he’s a target man type rather than the poacher in Doolan, with five across midfield and pace out wide. They’ll look to run at Beerman often through David Amoo as well.

I’m going to predict a 1-0 win in a scrappy game.

What are your thoughts on the weekend? Send us a tweet @rangersnewsuk with your predictions.