Rangers face Kilmarnock at Ibrox on Saturday, and will be keen to get back on track after the defeat last weekend. The Ayrshire side represent a tricky challenge, being one of the form teams in the league. Below is a look at some facts and figures, and opinions on what they tell us.


Kilmarnock are currently 5th in the table on 43 points. Of those, 24 have been won at home, and 19 away. Their away performances have included 4 wins and 7 draws, showing that they’re not easily beaten on the road. They have a goal difference of plus one, with 39 goals scored and 38 conceded.


Motherwell (away), 1-0 win
Hibernian (home), 2-2 draw
Hearts (away), 1-1 draw
St Johnstone (home), 2-0 win
Ross County (home), 3-2 win

As evidenced above, Kilmarnock are in good form. Their last match against Ross County saw them go 3-0 up before losing a couple of late goals. They had the cup replay during the week, where they lost to Aberdeen on penalties. Over 90 minutes, they haven’t tasted defeat since the 27th of January. They’ve played 10 matches since then, so it’s a strong run.

They have the league’s top goalscorer in Kris Boyd, who has 14 for the season. Brophy currently has 7 goals, and Jordan Jones has scored 4.


Kilmarnock seem to prefer a 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 shape. Regardless of their selection, they’re a team who play to be solid defensively and not concede. They have the second-lowest average for possession in the league, at 43.1%. In previous matches against Rangers, they’ve used more of a 4-4-2. This has allowed Jones or Brophy to play central next to Boyd, and use their pace on the counter-attack.

In defence, they like to play Broadfoot and Greer as a partnership, but the latter has missed the last few matches. O’Donnell and Taylor are their full backs of choice. The former will get forward a lot, as will be discussed later in the article. Their midfield has contained Dicker and Power recently, and Mulumbu is fit again. If they go with a 4-4-2, one of them may have to miss out. Jordan Jones generally plays wide left, and either Brophy or McKenzie will be on the other wing. Kris Boyd is their captain and will start up front.


As mentioned, Kilmarnock prefer a counter-attacking, direct attacking approach. They have the 4th lowest number of passes in the league, averaging 288 per game. Of those, the highest number of passes come from their defenders. They are 2nd highest in the league for long passes, with 1698 overall so far. Jamie MacDonald has started every match in goals, and plays goal kicks long every time. These will be aimed at Boyd, looking for him to win a flick on or force a mistake. Boyd is the highest in the league for aerial duels, with 389 at a success rate of around 37%. He’s had 20 headed shots at goal, second only to Morelos on 21. They don’t play a lot of crosses, averaging 14.5 per match. From right back, Stephen O’Donnell is their main crossing threat. He currently has 4 assists, the most in their squad.

Kilmarnock have the third highest amount of 1v1 and dribbling situations in the Premiership. However, one player is something of an outlier there in Jordan Jones. With 124, he is the league leader in attempted dribbles, and beats his man 58% of the time. At left back, Taylor won’t get forward quite as often to allow Jones more space to run into.

Jordan Jones is 6th in the league for shots from distance, with 36 at the moment. Given the frequency Rangers have conceded goals from outside the box with, this will be something to look out for. Also worth noting is that Boyd is their most frequent fouler, given his style of play up front.


As a team who willingly conceded possession, Kilmarnock need to be strong and organised to get results. Of their 2114 defensive duels, the 3rd highest in the league, they’ve won around 22%, which is average. What is interesting is that their full backs have had the most defensive duels in their squad. This tells us they’re a team who don’t allow opposing sides the chance to run at them centrally, and will happily let teams try to play wide.

Goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald has faced 124 shots, and made 86 saves. That puts him 2nd and 3rd in the league for those statistics respectively. Of the 38 goals they’ve conceded, only 14 have been away from home. This is the second best away defensive record in the league. They are set up well to be very hard to break down, and have a goalkeeper in decent form.

In recent matches, they’ve conceded from set pieces, but over the season that hasn’t been a major issue. There’s no easily identifiable defensive weakness that will be the focus for Rangers.


It sounds all very simple, but Rangers simply have to take their chances in this match. In the previous two meetings with Kilmarnock this season, Rangers have scored first only to ultimately drop points. This match will be about the second goal every bit as much as the first. If Rangers can take the lead, they’ll have to ensure they score the second before any sort of comfortable game can be achieved.







There’s obviously been plenty of debate regarding the players and performance from last weekend. Overall, I felt the team played well, with individual mistakes being the issue. I believe Murty will give most the chance to make amends for that match. At the time of writing, there are no injury updates as yet. Bates is certain to miss out, but there’s been no news on Russell Martin. For the midfield and attack, the only real choice is either Morelos or Cummings. If Morelos has reacted well in training this week, I think he’ll be given the nod.


This is a match likely to be somewhat uninspiring. Rangers will want to play at a high tempo, but will have last week on their minds. Kilmarnock will look to unsettle the team and the crowd by being organised, and trying to get a goal on the break. I believe Rangers will win the match 2-0, but that it won’t be a very entertaining affair.

What’s your predictions for the game on Saturday? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!