Rangers host newly promoted Kilmarnock on Saturday afternoon with the pang of European defeat still smarting.
Last season’s beaten Europa League finalists convincingly lost the first leg of their Champions League qualifier 2-0 away to Belgium’s Union Saint-Gilloise on Tuesday night. Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst even admitted his side were ‘a bit lucky’ to escape with that deficit.
Kilmarnock topped last season’s Scottish Championship and began the campaign with a draw against Dundee United salvaged by Ash Taylor’s 91st-minute equaliser.
Here’s all you need to know about Rangers’ attempts to bounce back from their midweek disappointment.
Where can you watch Rangers vs Kilmarnock Highlights?
H2H Results (Last Five Games)
Rangers: 4 Wins
Kilmarnock: 1 Win
Current Form (Last Five Games): (H3)
Rangers team news
Rangers are yet to welcome back Kemar Roofe as the striker continues to be plagued by fitness issues which sidelined him during the final months of the previous campaign. Fellow forward Alfredo Morelos is back in light training but remains a doubt with a thigh injury. Like Morelos, Filip Helander (foot), may make his return in mid-August.
The mercurial Ianis Hagi isn’t expected to return from a knee injury which required surgery at the start of the calendar year until November. However, Van Bronckhorst is optimistic that Ryan Kent will be fit enough to feature.
Rangers Starting 11: McLaughlin; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Barisic; Lundstram, Kamara; Wright, Lawrence, Kent; Colak
Bench: McGregor, King, Sands, Arfield, Jack, Tillman, Sakala
Kilmarnock team news
Kilmarnock have had to start their top flight campaign without first-choice goalkeeper Zach Hemming who picked up a groin strain following his involvement in July’s fixtures of the Scottish League Cup.
Centre-back Chris Stokes and centre-forward Scott Robinson are also doubts with hamstring and heel issues respectively.
Kilmarnock Starting 11: Walker; Wright, Mayo, Taylor; Alebiosu, Polworth, Power, McKenzie, McInroy; Lafferty, Shaw
Bench: Woods, Waters, Donnelly, Lyons, Murray, Armstrong, Cameron
Van Bronckhorst may have been ‘very, very disappointed’ with the performance of his side against European opposition but the Gers got off to a slow domestic start as well, conceding after five minutes of their league opener against Livingston before fighting back to win 2-1.
Kilmarnock may serve as the warmup for the return leg against Union Saint-Gilloise next week but Rangers can scarcely afford another sloppy start as their search for a clean sheet has now extended to five matches.
Prediction: Rangers 2-1 Kilmarnock