Tonight, we face a difficult trip to Perth to face St Johnstone. Tommy Wright’s side have had a good start to the season, despite some recent results:
ST JOHNSTONE LAST 5 LEAGUE RESULTS:
Celtic (away), 1-1 draw
Hibernian (home), 1-1 draw
Dundee (away), 3-2 defeat
Hamilton Accies (home), 2-1 win
Aberdeen (away), 3-0 defeat
Through an innocuous comment, and one not so innocent, Caixinha has managed to rile up the Perth team. Steven MacLean completely overreacted to Pedro’s suggestion that Morton play a similar style to the Saints. Tommy Wright reacted a little heavy-handedly to suggestions that he knew the Rangers line-up before the game last season. This was certainly not the suggestion of cheating that Wright decided to imply. The reactions of both have also shown the underlying feeling towards Caixinha by many, that he’s some foreigner who doesn’t understand real football.
All of this is a nice little side-issue that could add needle to the game. St Johnstone will be without a couple of players tonight. Rangers loanee Michael O’Halloran won’t be eligible to play even if fit, and ex-Ger Ricky Foster is suspended. For a man who gets to see Amy McDonald naked on a regular basis, Foster does seem prone to anger issues!
St Johnstone are a side who seem to defy footballing logic often. Their counter-attacking style doesn’t create a whole lot of chances, yet they often score a high ratio of said opportunities. They are almost always difficult to break down. After a very poor performance against Aberdeen, they’ll be determined to react well tonight.
For Rangers, tonight is one of those matches which will be used to determine progress. The desire against Hamilton after a negative week was pleasing. If that attitude can be continued, more ability should come to the fore. Injuries to Wallace and Rossiter see them miss out, but Alves is available for selection again. Ryan Jack will be suspended tonight, so I believe we’ll see Jason Holt make a return to the team. McCrorie will likely miss out for Alves. He can feel a little hard done by if so, but it will give him an opportunity to prove his attitude is excellent by reacting well to that.
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PREDICTED LINE UP:
Peña was obviously poor in the last game, so hopefully, he can show signs of improvement. Miller would seem to be involved in the first team again, but I suspect he’ll only make the bench. We’ll be hoping that Morelos can find a goal or two, and players like Candeias and John perform well. Without Jack in midfield, I suspect Dorrans will play a bit deeper than the last few games. Caixinha has spoken about the need for fewer goals to be conceded, so I’d expect the odd tweak to the team in terms of approach.
It’s Friday the 13th. Away from home at a ground where most games are tight. There’s a need to win, and key players not having found consistent form just yet. Any sort of win tonight would be a good result.