Rangers take on Aberdeen at Pittodrie at 12:30 in the first fixture of the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership season.
It’s a difficult opening assignment for the Gers after a near five-month break from competitive football. Yet, the squad is likely to be in a confident mood.
The Gers swept aside all before them in pre-season recording impressive wins over Lyon, Nice, Motherwell and Coventry City. Gerrard will be hoping the defensive solidity and free-flowing attacking football shown in some of those games is once again on display today.
In a double injury blow, both Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe were unavailable but Aberdeen are without two key attackers and their home advantage is diminished by the absence of supporters.
The majority of the Rangers XI pretty much picked itself ahead of this one but the manager has made one surprise selection.
Allan McGregor starts in goal behind a back four of James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun and Borna Barisic.
Balogun is the shock pick, getting the nod ahead of George Edmundson despite only joining the club a little over a week ago from Wigan Athletic.
Ryan Jack and Glen Kamara have been selected in the heart of midfield with Ianis Hagi, Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent forming a fluid advanced three.
Finally, Alfredo Morelos leads the line despite the considerable transfer speculation that has surrounded the striker all week.
Is this side good enough to secure three points on the opening day?
Here’s a selection of reactions from supporters on Twitter:
Balogun going straight in? Ambitious but let’s hope it works
— Stephen McKay (@ABR_Boom) August 1, 2020
Balogun straight in the team…. pic.twitter.com/x8XvR1xMHD
— Billy (@Rangers1990s) August 1, 2020
Balogun…I mean that’s class but that’s a weird game to throw him into 😂
— Declan (@Declan_72) August 1, 2020
New boy straight in..wow, thats a vote of confidence for the boy🔴⚪🔵
— hoosty_the_great_brit (@oh_BJK) August 1, 2020
No Edmundson ? Very strange and a big risk.
— Mr King (@killieblue) August 1, 2020
Balogun straight in wow
— LP (@LP1872) August 1, 2020
WHY HAVE WE JUST THROWN BALOGUN IN
— Luke Staunchwalker (@LukeConway1872_) August 1, 2020
Big unfair on Edmundson who has been good, but good luck to big Balogun. Mon the @RangersFC
— Denny Ford (@DennyFord5) August 1, 2020
Nice to see Balogun getting a start but it’s a big game for him to be thrust right into the side. Edmundson looked pretty good in preseason.
— Andrew Wilson (@Andrew_GWilson) August 1, 2020