Rangers travel to McDiarmid Park to take on St Johnstone in the early kick-off this afternoon.
The Gers come into the game on the back of a confidence-boosting win over Feyenoord on Thursday night, while the Saints drew their last outing away at Aberdeen.
Tommy Wright’s side are currently second bottom of the league, and winless from five matches.
Given that his players have had only two full days rest since the Europa League win, Steven Gerrard predicted some changes for this game, despite it being something of a must-win.
However, he made fewer than many may have expected.
Joe Aribo comes in to join Steven Davis and Ryan Jack in midfield, with Glen Kamara dropping to the bench. Out wide, Brandon Barker earns his first start in Rangers colours, with Scott Arfield amongst the subs. Greg Stewart returns to the squad after missing out in midweek.
Rangers vs St Johnstone – the return of ‘Free Katic’?
The biggest bone of contention for many Gers fans, though, is the omission of Nikola Katic. The Croatian centre-back has been left out of the 18 for the second game running.
Gerrard has opted for continuity, with both Filip Helander and Connor Goldson retaining their places, following the midweek clean sheet. George Edmundson has been named on the bench.
Here’s a selection of reactions from Twitter:
— Adam (@LockieA55) September 22, 2019
— 🧟♂️ (@J_W____) September 22, 2019
What’s happened wae katic?
— Jamie 👍 (@JamieGersWATP) September 22, 2019
Wit has Katic done
— Sam (@sjs_72) September 22, 2019
Probably questioned why he gets dropped when Goldson continually gets a free pass for poor displays
— Brian Gillan (@BrianGillan5) September 22, 2019
How is Goldson in that team and Katic isn’t, absolute joke
— Graham Cameron (@GramC1984) September 22, 2019
Helander but no Katic pic.twitter.com/wMMDolotb0
— ⚜️ (@scxtt72) September 22, 2019
Get goldson dropped and put katic and helander at the back
— Stuart No Surrender 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧 (@no_stuart) September 22, 2019
Not all Bears are concerned about the absence of the 22-year-old, though. Plenty are pleased with how the Gers line up.
Very strong starting XI. 👍
— Foolmonty (@DRMonty70) September 22, 2019
What’s the big fascination with Katic, Goldson and helander are our best pairing and should play every game
— Deek 🇬🇧 (@Deek140514) September 22, 2019
Very strong team, shows how much Gerrard respects St Johnstone and the importance of the league – obviously.
— Copland Roar (@CF3Loyal) September 22, 2019