Livingston vs Rangers – 26/04/2016
Rangers were presented with the Championship trophy on Sunday in front of a packed Ibrox, on a day where 4 years of pain was finally released. Rangers are back.
Before we can embark on our mission of #Goingfor55 however, there is the small matter of a Scottish Cup final against Hibernian on the 21st May, and the two league games prior to that could prove vital in regaining some momentum that seems to have been lost since the ecstasy of the semi final at Hampden.
First up is Livingston. Generally speaking, over the course of our two years in the championship, we haven’t found games against the West Lothian outfit. A strong performance and result would be very welcomed tonight despite the result having no bearing on our league campaign as a whole.
Livingston themselves are playing only to build momentum for their upcoming play-off relegation battle, as they now sit too far behind Dumbarton to have any chance of retaining their 2nd tier status outright.
There’s one thing that’s certain, Rangers, as we have done all season, will have the lion share of possession and Livingston will sit with 10 men behind the ball and look to break. Miles Hippolyte was a constant thorn in our side in previous visits to the Tony Macaroni Arena, however he has since moved on to Falkirk, so is one individual we needn’t worry about tonight.
That’s not to say Livingston won’t pose a threat however, so it is important we deliver a strong level of performance ourselves.
According to Mr Magic Hat, Waggy still isn’t fit for tonight’s encounter and will return on Sunday. Forrester and Templeton are long term absentees with their current injuries.
I envisage us lining up very similarly to we did against Celtic at Hampden with the possibility of Zelalem replacing Ball in midfield. With the on-loan Spurs man out of the final, it makes sense to play with someone else in their in the remaining two games in preparation for the 21st.
Assuming the players are back to the levels shown over the course of the season, I’m confident of us taking all 3 points back along the M8. As ever, the bears will be there in their numbers, and I’m going to predict they’ll see the boys stick 3 past Livingston, in a rather comfortable 3-0 victory.
After that, it’s onto St Mirren, Spurs in a closed doors match, then all systems go for Hibernian on the 21st May.
Tell us Stubbsy, who’s going for the treble?