Rangers head into the new Scottish Premiership season with optimism and ambition after the appointment of Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard in May.
The challenge ahead of the Light Blues is enormous after finishing third in the table for the second successive season in 2017/18, 12 points behind title winners Celtic. Mark Warburton, Pedro Caixinha and Graeme Murty have all failed to find a way to beat Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic in a one off match, never mind across an entire season.
However, there’s again a genuine belief that they can challenge for the major honours in Scotland once again, with fans desperate to at least push the Hoops closer at the top of the table.
Having already made six summer signings already, including the arrival of two defenders this week in Nikola Katic and Connor Goldson, Gerrard is wasting no time in addressing the squad’s deficits.
Now Rangers fans have a much clearer picture of the immediate challenge ahead, following confirmation of their first six Scottish Premiership fixtures…
5th August – Aberdeen (A)
11th August – St. Mirren (H)
25th August – Motherwell (A)
1st September – Celtic (A)
15th September – Dundee (H)
22nd September – St. Johnstone (H)
[brid autoplay=”true” video=”256211″ player=”12034″ title=”Ranger’s first six fixtures for the 201819 Scottish Premiership season”]
Gerrard will need to start his Rangers spell strongly to win over those uncertain of the Anfield icon’s credentials but an away trip to Aberdeen – who finished above the Glasgow outfit last season – certainly won’t be an easy opener. Alongside that, Gerrard will experience his first Old Firm derby just four games into the new top flight season and will be at a significant disadvantage for it, having to take his Rangers side to Celtic Park.
If Rangers come out of that with two decent results though, confidence will surely grow. Motherwell, Dundee and St. Johnstone all finished in the bottom half last season while St. Mirren gained promotion from the second tier, so Gerrard should find some more luck in those fixtures. Overall then, it’s a tricky start for the former England skipper but one that is certainly navigable.
More to follow…