The 3-0 loss to Napoli on Wednesday means that the Ibrox club haven’t won since the narrow victory over Dundee in the League Cup on 19 October, and the pressure is piling on Light Blues manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
With a win over Aberdeen today, though, Rangers can cut the gap at the top of the table to just one point overnight.
League leaders and arch-rivals Celtic don’t play until Sunday afternoon, and there is no greater incentive than claiming all three points before your rivals take to the field and firmly remaining in a title challenge.
The Dutchman is likely to rotate against Aberdeen, and here at Football FanCast, we predict that four changes will be made from midweek as we predict the Rangers starting XI…
Allan McGregor will once again start between the sticks, despite conceding four goals in his previous two matches.
The back four is set to remain unchanged from the game against Napoli. Leon King and Ben Davies will start at the heart of defence, while Ridvan Yilmaz – who was recently dubbed “positive” by Rangers Review journalist Joshua Barrie – will start at left-back. Captain James Tavernier will start in his usual right-back slot.
The midfield axis comprises John Lundstram and Steven Davis, the latter coming in for James Sands, while American Malik Tillman will feature in the number ten role, playing just off the striker.
The front three is where we could see plenty of change. The “misfiring” Ryan Kent – as labelled by Derek Clark – could be dropped, having not scored since the win over Hearts nearly a month ago, with Fashion Sakala taking his place on the left flank, while Rabbi Matondo comes back into the starting XI on the right.
Jonny McFarlane lavished praise on Antonio Colak at the beginning of the month, describing him as “absolutely lethal”, and the 13-goal Croatian will likely take over from Alfredo Morelos in leading the line for the Light Blues today.
The pressure is on the Dutchman to secure all three points this afternoon, and with Aberdeen rapidly improving under Jim Goodwin, it won’t be an easy task for Rangers at Ibrox.