The Rangers team to face Dundee United is likely to be a continuation of the players who have largely featured in recent weeks.
There has been a consistency in Michael Beale’s selection which has produced the goods in terms of results, particular those away victories at Hibs and Motherwell in the aftermath of the damaging, disappointing loss against Celtic in the League Cup final.
Despite no expected wholesale changes, Beale hinted on Friday afternoon that the international break has been particularly useful for a quartet within his squad, who have been able to step up their output and workload.
When asked was the recent downtime productive, the manager responded emphatically with the following:
“Yeah, really well (how it went). A mixture of giving the boys a couple of days (off) and then working on things in training. There were some players that needed to do more than others who haven’t played so much. For boys like John Souttar, Ridvan Yilmaz and Ianis Hagi, it’s been a really good two weeks in terms of getting a lot of volume in their legs.”
“Rabbi Matondo’s another one that’s now fit and pushing for a place in the squad as well so that’s good. It was a really positive time.”
“The last couple of days we’ve trained ever so well and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
Will they all feature against Dundee United?
Ridvan was decent against Motherwell without being spectacular but it was his first start for quite some time. It will be interesting to see who gets the nod with Borna Barisic returning from the Croatia squad and game time during the week.
John Souttar will be pushing Ben Davies to line up next to Connor Goldson but that unit is likely to remain for now. Ianis Hagi has a difficult task ahead to claim a starting jersey but he needs to impact when he gets on the pitch to stake his claim. Similarly, Rabbi Matondo has to show something if and when he makes a return from the cold and relative wilderness of injury and poor form prior to that. There are only so many chances that the Welsh international will get in what has been a very disappointing transfer so far.
Opportunity will knock for someone in the middle of the pitch with Nico Raskin’s absence, as outlined by Beale at the press conference. He now faces a race against time to be in contention for Celtic at Parkhead next week.
Rangers return at Ibrox tomorrow, when the players selected will hopefully take full advantage against a poor, struggling Dundee United team who are rooted to the bottom of the Premiership table without a league win since 2nd January.