Predicted XI - How Rangers could line up against Hearts at Tynecastle in Scottish Premiership
Ibrox boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst is under pressure and requires a big performance from his side in the capital.
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Rangers have an opportunity to pile the pressure on Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic at the top of the table when they head to Edinburgh to face Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday.
With the reigning champions losing to St Mirren prior to the international break, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side are just two points behind their city rivals but will know they cannot afford to keep dropping points.
The Dutchman has been in the firing line in recent weeks after a series of poor performances and heavy defeats to Ajax, Celtic and Napoli but a battling 2-1 victory over Dundee United was needed to halt their slump in form.
The general consensus among the Gers supporters is that Van Bronckhorst has fallen short of expectations to date, but a good display in the capital can ease the weight on his shoulders at present.
Tynecastle Park has proved a notoriously difficult venue to claim maximum points at, winning on just three of their previous six trips to Gorgie.
Two players who will not take part are attacking midfielder Tom Lawrence and striker Kemar Roofe with both players rumoured to have rejoined training in recent days. Both will continues to undergo assessment to see when they can return.
Here, GlasgowWorld predicts how Rangers will line up against the current third-placed Jambos:
Captain James Tavernier admits his team mates are looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead as the squad prepare for a hecitc run of games before the World Cup break.
The Light Blues face a run of eight matches across the month of October, both domestically and in the UEFA Champions League.
Tavernier provided an insight into what the players who were not involved during the international break were doing to keep themselves in good shape ahead of the Scottish Premiership resumption.
Speaking to Rangers TV, he said: “The boys are raring to go to get it kicked off again. We’re really relishing the task at hand and the games ahead.
“We’re not far away. It’s only two points and we’ve only played the first block of the season. There’s plenty of games to play. It’s down to us to keep our standards and the consistency to create a real good momentum.
“The lads who have been away are coming back match-fit and the lads who didn’t go away have been preparing right and getting the tactical side worked on more as you get more time on the training pitch.”
Rangers could line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, as they did against Dundee United a fortnight ago.
ALLAN McGREGOR: (GK) - The veteran stopper is expected to keep the gloves for the time being regardless of Jon McLaughlin’s current injury setback.
JAMES TAVERNIER: (RB) - The skipper was troubled by a niggly calf problem which has impacted his form of late but the international break will have allowed him time to re-charge. Will be determined to get back to his usual influential self at Tynecastle.
CONNOR GOLDSON: (CB) - Another player nailed on to keep his place in the side. Looks to have turned a corner after impressive displays against Napoli and Dundee United.
BEN DAVIES: (CB) - Has struggled for game time since arriving from Liverpool in the summer but it’s about time he shows the Ibrox faithful what he is capable of after returning to full fitness.
BORNA BARISIC: (LB) - Has kept new signing Ridvan Yilmaz out of the starting XI so far this season and the Croatian was one of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s better performers prior to the break.
JOHN LUNDSTRAM: (CDM) - Hasn’t looked at his best this season but still has a leading role to play in a deeper-lying midfield position. Will aim to nulify the threat of Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland.
GLEN KAMARA: (CM) - Provides good balance and technique to the midfield and a calming influence in possession. A big performance is required from the Finland international.
MALIK TILLMAN: (CM) - The Bayern Munich loanee has flattered to deceive in recent outings after an electric start to his time at Ibrox. Looking to recapture his best form.
SCOTT ARFIELD: (RW) - Not a regular starter nowadays but he always brings a tenacious attitude and plenty of endeavour to the game.
RYAN KENT: (LW) - Has looked a shadow of the player he once was a few seasons ago but the pacy winger is capable of causing any opposition defence problems on his day.
ANTONIO COLAK: (CF) - Faces stiff competition from Alfredo Morelos to lead the line but the Croatian still gets the nod after an impressive start to the campaign in front of goal.
On the bench: McCrorie (GK), Yilmaz, Jack, Davis, Matondo, Sands, Morelos, Wright, Sakala, McCann, Devine.