Rangers begin their Scottish Premiership title defence on Saturday afternoon as they take on Livingston at Ibrox, with Steven Gerrard’s side fresh off the back of an impressive pre-season.
After finishing last year’s league season unbeaten, conceding just 13 goals in 38 top-flight games, Gerrard’s side go into the new campaign as favourites to win the title, especially with their Old Firm rivals showing little sign of improvement after they crashed out of the Champions League qualification stages in midweek.
Although Gerrard will be missing the likes of Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Jack and new signing Nnamdi Ofoborh for the game against David Martindale’s side on Saturday, the Gers will still be strong favourites to pick up three points to kick off the campaign.
Here’s how we think Gerrard will line his team up for the season opener at Ibrox…
After an impressive season which saw him earn a new one-year deal at Ibrox, Allan McGregor unsurprisingly starts in goal for Gerrard’s side.
There will be plenty of competition at right-back this term after Nathan Patterson’s breakthrough in 2020/21, but captain James Tavernier is likely to start the majority. He is joined by the crux of last season’s impressive defence as Connor Goldson partners Filip Helander at centre-back, with Borna Barisic on the left.
In midfield, new signing John Lundstram starts alongside Glen Kamara and Steven Davis, with Joe Aribo’s absence in recent pre-season games suggesting that he may be forced to settle for a place on the bench in this one.
Finally, Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi seem likely to start on the wings after their superb performances last season, and they support new signing Fashion Sakala up front, with the Zambian getting his competitive Gers debut ahead of Kemar Roofe after the former Leeds man missed the games against Brighton and Real Madrid.