The battle between Rangers' Andy Dallas and Ryan Hardie
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The battle between Rangers' Andy Dallas and Ryan Hardie

A lot has been made about the form of both men, and a fitting battle is set to take place between Ryan Hardie and Andy Dallas.

Not officially of course. Both men aren’t even at the same club at the moment, yet are still receiving plenty of plaudits for their individual displays so far.

When Hardie returns to Ibrox in the summer from loan-club Livingston, his goal must be to take up one of those key striking positions in Steven Gerrard’s squad. He’s managed to score nearly as many goals in his last two matches as Kyle Lafferty has in his last 17.

Ryan Hardie (left) certainly has experience on his side (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images)

He still has a long way to go before he can claim to a place in Gerrard’s squad. Three goals in his last two matches, however is a fine start to writing his own claim.

Unfortunately for Hardie, there’s another young hot-shot currently at Ibrox who’s also itching for a spot in the squad. In fact, he was already in one after taking a place on Rangers’ bench for Sunday’s win over Hamilton at Ibrox.

It wasn’t exactly undeserved either. Dallas has been making waves with the reserves this season. His brace against Rapid Vienna’s youths on Thursday, however, was a breakthrough moment. The Gers under-20s were 2-0 down heading into the closing stages of the game, before Dallas and Co struck.

Dallas vs Hardie – an intriguing battle

His form with the reserves has helped them jump up to the top of the SPFL Reserve League. He’s consistently getting praised for his performances, and is the main standout in the academy.

With Umar Sadiq having departed the club, Dallas is in the best position to nab a spot in Gerrard’s squad. Hardie, however, has to be looking through the Hummel Training Centre gates and feel a determination to keep on pushing on at Livingston.

Whilst Dallas is scoring on a weekly-basis at reserve-level, Hardie could one-up him by doing the same in the Premiership.

Steven Gerrard will be watching both Hardie and Dallas closely (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Like it or not, both men are now in direct competition with each other. Hardie has the experience and has scored for Rangers before. Dallas, however, is in the right place and has the right level of support behind him. Many want him pushed into the squad, and at the minute he’s difficult to ignore for Gerrard.

It’s going to be intriguing to see how this battle between Hardie and Dallas kicks on. Is there a chance that BOTH men could work their way into Gerrard’s plans?

In order for either of them to do so, they need to just keep doing what they’re doing.

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