It seems like ages ago we were watching Rangers run out at Ibrox and demolishing Hamilton Accies 8-0.
The Ibrox side’s solid momentum was stopped dead in its tracks by an international break which saw Scotland qualify for a first tournament in 22 years.
Euro 2020 and everything that comes with it will now be shelved for the next four or so months with club football set to take the reins until March.
With no winter break this year, clubs across Scotland will be hard at it even between now and the next Old Firm on January 2nd, with the Gers set to cram in 11 games by that match.
Steven Gerrard’s side kicks off with a tough tie against Scotland’s undoubted third force in Aberdeen.
Motherwell might’ve pipped them to the berth last season but that was courtesy of the Covid shutdown with the smart money on the Dons prior to the pandemic.
Derek McInnes’ side have always proved a tricky opponent for the Gers with a physical style coinciding with flashes of quality and a heightened desire to defeat the Bears.
We are Aberdeen’s hottest rivalry, their lukewarm Celtic performances forgivable to a fanbase who will accept a level of mediocrity and repetitive failure as long as they scalp us once or twice a year.
Saying that they managed a Scottish Premiership draw with Neil Lennon’s side last month.
Rangers drew first blood in this traditionally feisty affair back in the season opener back on August 1st.
A drab match was won by a solitary Ryan Kent strike as Leon Balogun stole the show with a Man of the Match performance on his debut.
At Ibrox, this game has also been tricky during Steven Gerrard’s tenure, but when the Dons came to visit for the first time last year Rangers dismantled them 5-0.
Any result will do for Rangers fans eager to get back on the front foot after an opening spell to the season which has heralded 17 wins, 16 clean sheets and 20 games without defeat.
Given Balogun’s performance in the first match at Pittodrie, we’re giving him the nod ahead of Filip Helander in a defence which pretty much picks itself.
In midfield, Steven Davis left the Northern Ireland camp for “personal reasons” and we’ll take him out of the reckoning for this one.
A solid midfield of Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara and Scott Arfield is a quality, hard-working combination which can dominate the Dons.
Up front we expect Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos to lead the line with that position on the right the only other spot really up for grabs.
With Joe Aribo having played close to 180 minutes for Nigeria over two matches and Kemar Roofe eager to get really firing, we expect the ex-Leeds man to get the nod.
Here’s our Rangers predicted XI as we prepare to welcome Aberdeen to Ibrox this coming Sunday.