In Focus: Rangers need a strong defence to combat St Johnstone threat on Friday

Speaking to the official Rangers website, Pedro Caixinha has provided an update to the status of Bruno Alves ahead of the Light Blue’s trip to McDiarmid Park on Friday night.

What’s the story?

The Rangers boss had previously stated that the ‘short week’ for players such as Bruno Alves and Ross McCrorie meant that he would need to assess both defenders on their return to Auchenhowie.

However, there’s positive news, with Caixinha expecting that Alves at least will be in training today and available for selection on Friday night against St Johnstone.

As quoted by the official Rangers website, the Portuguese said:

I think Bruno will arrive back in Scotland today and will be training with the group tomorrow. He will be able to be with us on Friday. With his situation, it was all about following the process – he did everything and has totally recovered from the injury on the calf.

That’s fantastic news for the team and for Rangers supporters who must have been worried there would be something of a makeshift defence against the Perth Saints tomorrow night. The Light Blues need their best players available for what will be a competitive match-up.

Pressure is on

With inconsistency again making life difficult for Pedro Caixinha at Rangers, he really needs a stellar October from his team with huge matches ahead, most notably in the League Cup semi-final against Motherwell.

St Johnstone too is an important fixture. Both sides are currently on equal points, with Rangers only in third due to goal difference. A win on Friday night will put distance between themselves and Tommy Wright’s side.

The Light Blues defence will need to be at the top of their game with Saints scoring in all but one of their Scottish Premiership matches so far, including at Celtic Park where they got a draw off of the Scottish Champions.

Alves’ return couldn’t be more timely and they’ll need every bit of his experience to guide them through a pressurised Friday night fixture.