Rangers begin their Scottish League Cup campaign with a game against Championship side Dunfermline Athletic at Ibrox tonight, with Steven Gerrard’s side looking to win the trophy for the first time since 2011.
The Gers come into the game on the back of three consecutive defeats, with the 2-1 defeat against ten-man Malmo earlier this week possibly leading fans to ask serious questions of their side after a hugely disappointing start to the 2021/22 campaign.
After an unbeaten league campaign last season which saw them earn their 55th Premiership title, Rangers fans will have been full of hope for the new term, but they have been brought back down to earth after defeats against Dundee United and two against Malmo.
However, Friday night represents an opportunity to get things back on track as they face Peter Grant’s side at Ibrox, and Gerrard has made it clear that he wants success in domestic cup competitions this season, which suggests that he will name a strong side despite the Championship opposition.
Here’s how Football FanCast expects Gerrard to line up his team at Ibrox, with eight changes from the team which started against Malmo earlier this week:
It seems likely that Gerrard will continue to alternate goalkeepers, so Jon McLaughlin comes back in for Allan McGregor in between the sticks.
There are three changes in defence, with only Connor Goldson keeping his place from Tuesday’s defeat, as Filip Helander replaces Leon Balogun, whilst Calvin Bassey and Nathan Patterson come in for Borna Barisic and James Tavernier respectively in the full-back positions after the latter duo’s less than impressive performances in the final third against Malmo.
In midfield, Glen Kamara is restored to the starting lineup after being suspended against Malmo, and he is partnered by Joe Aribo and John Lundstram, with Steven Davis and Scott Arfield dropping to the bench.
Ianis Hagi, who was described as “outstanding” by Gerrard in 2020, comes in for Scott Wright on the right wing, with Ryan Kent keeping his place on the left.
They support Cedric Itten up front, with the Swiss striker earning a start with Alfredo Morelos rested. Fashion Sakala misses out through injury, with Kemar Roofe also rested after a difficult few days at home for the former Leeds United man.