How Gerrard could use Hamilton clash to get several players firing
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Hamilton clash could provide Rangers with stars big opportunity

Hamilton vs Rangers has always been a kind fixture to the Gers in the past, and Steven Gerrard should use it to full effect.

The trip to the Hope CBD Stadium, or New Douglas Park, is next up on the fixture list for Gers. The contest is yet another must win for Gerrard’s side, as they look to keep in touch with the top of the table.

Without being disrespectful to Accies, however, Rangers could use this match to get several of their misfiring stars up to speed. Hamilton have consistently proved no match for Rangers at home in the past. Whilst Gerrard will give Hamilton as much respect as necessary, this could be big chance for certain stars to hit form.

Several come to mind when it comes to those who could do with a big performance.

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Kyle Lafferty’s Villarreal goal remains his best moment of the season (Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

First and foremost is Kyle Lafferty. The big Northern Irishman has been struggling to regain his place in the Rangers starting XI in recent times. The form of Alfredo Morelos has made sure that Lafferty’s chances have been limited lately.

Since arriving from Hearts in August, the forward has scored four goals, but is still struggling for a run of games.

Accies’ weak back-line would be the perfect opportunity to throw Lafferty back into the side. With Morelos set to start the game, Gerrard must be tempted to go all out and go with two up front. It hasn’t worked in the past, but Accies have the weakest defence in the league and would surely struggle against that firepower.

Lafferty wasn’t signed to be a bench-warmer, and he didn’t sign to watch Morelos bang in goals. He’ll be itching for his next opportunity in a Rangers jersey, and Accies should be it.


Eros Grezda has never started for Rangers (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Another is midfield talent Eros Grezda, who’s yet to make a start for the club this season.

Grezda is currently away on international duty with Albania. This suggests that the summer signing from Osijek is fit and available to play, and therefore just not favored. The form of Daniel Candeias could be set to give the Albanian a tough time in trying to break back into the squad.

Yet, if Grezda is fit to take part this weekend, then there’s no reason he couldn’t be just thrown in. Hamilton away is one of the most straightforward matches Rangers are going to have this season on paper. Sure, Accies may very well play out of their skin, but the chances of it are minimal. Grezda, therefore, should be given a chance to show what he can do.

If he doesn’t play next weekend, then you have to wonder when Gerrard is thinking of bringing him in. After the clash next Sunday, Rangers have several tough fixtures that wouldn’t be the ideal games for Grezda to be eased into.

Hamilton, on the other hand, provide that opportunity. Whether Gerrard gives him it or not remains to be seen.


Umar Sadiq hasn’t scored a competitive goal for Rangers (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Nobody needs games more than Nigerian forward Umar Sadiq.

Other than a handful of cameo appearances from the bench, Sadiq has been non-existent. The only problem is the fact that in those appearances, the big forward has done next to nothing. A pre-season goal against Wigan aside, his contribution has been zilch.

Why Sadiq could potentially come into contention from nowhere next weekend is because of what’s around the corner. After the Accies match, Rangers face Aberdeen at Hampden in the Betfred Cup semi-final. It’s the biggest game of the campaign so far, and Rangers have both Morelos and Lafferty suspended. As it stands, Sadiq is the only available alternative.

It stands to reason that Gerrard won’t just throw Sadiq in for his first start in weeks against Aberdeen. Instead, if he is going to take part, then he should start against Hamilton so that he can get up to speed and supporters can get a glimpse of him.

If he doesn’t take part in any role, then he won’t feature against the Dons.

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