Football

Predicting the Rangers Starting XI to Face Celtic On Sunday

Predicting the Rangers Starting XI to Face Celtic On Sunday

Rangers will be looking to slash Celtic‘s lead at the top of the table to just three points on Sunday, as they get set to host their fiercest rivals at Ibrox.

Graeme Murty‘s side have been a joy to watch in the second half of the season, a much-changed outfit from the one which struggled to assert any kind of identity under ex-boss Pedro Caixinha.

And while Celtic are firmly in the driving seat with a six point lead and a game in hand, the blue half of Glasgow will feel confident of causing an upset this weekend.

Rangers are unbeaten in their last six matches, having notched 23 goals along the way, so we expect Murty to go with a tried and tested XI in what’s shaping up to be the biggest game of his managerial career so far.

Russell Martin, Declan John and Jamie Murphy have all been struggling with injury recently, but we expect the latter two to recover just in time for this one.

We’ve predicted how Rangers will line-up below:

 

WHY 4-2-3-1?

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Jason Cummings’ hat-trick against Falkirk in the Scottish Cup semi-final last weekend may have the Light Blues legions calling for the former Hibs man to start up top with the Scottish Premiership’s joint-top scorer, Alfredo Morelos. But with Celtic expected to play a 3-5-2 formation, Murty will most likely look to keep another body in midfield in a bid to keep the game tight and compact.

 

WHY ALVES?

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Murty confirmed earlier this afternoon that Russell Martin, who has formed a solid partnership with David Bates since arriving in January, has been “deloaded” after pulling up with a slight injury in training. Martin could be ready to go on Sunday but with a defender like Bruno Alves fully fit and waiting in the wings, Murty shouldn’t take any risks on the ex-Norwich skipper.

WHY DOCHERTY?

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Docherty only joined the Gers from Hamilton in January but should still get the nod ahead of Jason Holt to start alongside Sean Goss. Docherty is a boyhood Rangers fan, so knows what it means to the fans to see a player being tough in the tackle and composed on the ball in these fixtures – two major strengths in his game. Docherty also has the most assists of any Scottish player in the SPFL this season, so can offer plenty going forward too.

WHY MORELOS?

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Morelos didn’t have the best of games during his last Old Firm outing, as he missed several chances during Decmber’s 0-0 draw. He’s still the league’s joint-top scorer with 13 goals though and has shown a willingness to run the channels and bully defenders off the ball. Murty even claimed the striker has a “chip on his shoulder” earlier in the week, so we expect him to be right up for this one.

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