Gio van Bronckhorst’s men finished second in the table last season and will be looking to lay down a marker this weekend to let their rivals know that they are out to put things right this time around.
It will be the club’s first competitive match of the season as they prepare for the first leg of their Champions League third-round qualifying tie on Tuesday.
One player that the Dutch head coach must unleash from the start against Livingston this weekend is centre-forward Antonio Colak.
Van Bronckhorst opted to go with a false nine or with Ryan Kent and Scott Wright in a front two at times last season whilst Alfredo Morelos was out with injury, but he must put his faith in the Croatia international on Saturday.
The £1.8m dynamo must start up front and lead the line as he makes his competitive debut for the club, as he is a proven goalscorer who can win vital points for the Light Blues.
He caught the eye in pre-season as he found the net at Ibrox against Premier League giants Tottenham and looked bright in the 3-1 win over West Ham.
Journalist Josh Bunting praised him after his display against the Hammers, tweeting: “Antonio Čolak looked really good tonight, he’s never going to split defences open with pace but he will create problems with his sheer strength. Thought his hold up play and work-rate was impressive. A real handful for defenders to get to grips with. Will only get better too.”
His former Malmo manager Jon Dahl Tomasson recently claimed that the Croatian is a “team player” who will give “maximum effort” to the side.
These comments from Bunting and Tomasson suggest that Colak will be a nuisance for Livingston if selected to start, as he works hard and puts himself about at the top end of the pitch.
He offers more than just running and strength, though, as he showcased his goalscoring ability with Malmo and HNK Rijeka. The 28-year-old scored 51 times in 90 outings for the latter and 19 goals in 41 appearances for the former, including five goals in eight Champions League qualifiers…and two against his new employers.
This shows that he also carries a goalscoring threat and has the potential to be a match-winner for Rangers with his ability in front of goal. Therefore, Van Bronckhorst must throw him in at the deep end on the opening day of the Premiership campaign and hope that he swims…