Rangers are gunning to maintain their perfect start to the new Scottish Premiership season against St Johnstone at Ibrox on Wednesday.
The 2020/21 Scottish Premiership season is underway with Rangers joint-leaders alongside Hibernian and Ross County in the standings after winning both of their opening fixtures. The aim now is to make it three out of three against St Johnstone.
Although breaches of coronavirus rules have led the Scottish government to postpone the Aberdeen and Celtic games, leaving the Premiership season in doubt. As of now, though, the game at Ibrox will go ahead.
Rangers Form & Team News
Defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League was unfortunate, yet could be a blessing in disguise. After all, Rangers will have played four games in 12 days by Wednesday. The tight run of fixtures, therefore, could’ve had unfortunate consequences on their domestic campaign.
Nonetheless, Steven Gerrard’s side brushed aside their Europa League disappointment on Sunday to claim a 3-0 win against St. Mirren. It was a convincing performance and established a two-point lead over Celtic, who drew 1-1 at Kilmarnock. At this stage, though, it matters very little. What’s important now is that they consistently deliver three points above anything else.
Two wins, four goals, and two clean sheets is an excellent way to begin the campaign as Rangers search for a first league title since 2010/11.
Despite the lingering doubts over his future, Alfredo Morelos will likely start alongside Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi. The Colombian striker bagged a brace in Sunday’s win against St. Mirren. Thus, Gerrard should have no concerns upfront at Ibrox.
The Gers boss also recently expressed hope that Allan McGregor will return in goal after suffering a knock last week. Although Jermain Defoe has just returned to training from injury. And new signing Kemar Roofe probably won’t make the line-up either.
St. Johnstone Form & Team News
A 1-1 draw against Dundee United is all St Johnstone have to show for this season. They’ve played just once after two Aberdeen players tested positive for coronavirus. Therefore, they couldn’t play over the weekend. It also means they’ve gone 10 days with no football.
The main target now for Callum Davidson must be to get his players up to full fitness. His side are at a clear disadvantage in that respect, with Rangers having played four friendlies and three competitive matches compared to their one. So missing out on playing Aberdeen on Saturday was a blow.
On the bright side, however, St Johnstone will now get a decent stint as Rangers, Kilmarnock, Aberdeen, Hibernian, and St. Mirren all await in the space of 17 days starting on Wednesday.
Former Rangers forward Michael O’Halloran won’t be able to face his old club after his double booking against Dundee handed him a one-match ban. Stevie May could replace him in the line-up.
With two competitive matches under their belt, arguably the stronger team on paper, and not to mention home advantage, Rangers are the clear favorites to win on Wednesday night.
Unibet has priced Gerrard’s men at 1.20 for victory. If you’re feeling a little on the brave side, a draw has 6.25 odds. A St Johnstone win, on the other hand, is on at 14.0.
Going for under 2.5 goals, meanwhile, may be a safe bet. Gerrard could rotate his squad a little after playing four games in 12 days, meaning Rangers may not be at full strength. Their last 10 matches have also only seen over 2.5 goals exactly three times.
Anytime Goalscorer – Alfredo Morelos
Despite confirming that Lille’s interest had his ‘head turned’ recently, Gerrard confirmed Morelos will be in the squad for the St Johnstone game.
The 24-year-old delivered a superb performance last time out against St Mirren by scoring a brace, and he’ll hope to add to his tally on Wednesday.
Betfred has offered odds of 8/11 on Oddschecker for a Morelos goal at the time of writing.