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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Diomande ditched in predicted Rangers lineup vs Ross County

Glasgow Rangers are set to turn their attention back to Scottish Premiership action on Wednesday night as they prepare to host Ross County at Ibrox.

The Light Blues have won their last six matches in all competitions and are on the hunt for a seventh in succession as they face off against the Staggies on home soil.

Philippe Clement‘s team are three points off Celtic at the top of the table, with a game in hand, and a victory by three goals or more on Wednesday would see them leapfrog their rivals.

The Glasgow giants head into this match off the back of a 2-0 win over Ayr in the SFA Cup, to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the competition, and could make some changes to the starting XI from that match.

Here is FFC’s predicted Rangers line-up to take on Ross County at Ibrox on Wednesday night, with four changes to the team that won in the cup…

Jack Butland


In goal, former England international Jack Butland, who was signed on a free transfer from Premier League side Crystal Palace last summer, should keep his place.

The impressive 30-year-old shot-stopper has kept 15 clean sheets in 24 Premiership appearances for the club this season and will be hoping for number 16 against Ross County.

James Tavernier


Of course, the Rangers captain should start once again at right-back. He has racked up ten goals and five assists in 24 appearances as an ever-present in the Scottish top-flight so far this season.

Connor Goldson


At the heart of the defence, Connor Goldson should start at centre-back as the English titan has been in dominant form in the league so far this season.

23/24 Premiership

Connor Goldson



Ball recoveries per game


Clearances per game


Ground duel success rate


Aerial duel success rate


Stats via Sofascore

As you can see in the table above, the former Brighton & Hove Albion enforcer has dominated opposition attackers on the floor and in the air.

John Souttar


John Souttar has been a solid operator when called upon by the Gers this season and could continue alongside Goldson to complete the centre-back pairing.

He has won 73% of his overall duels in the Premiership across 16 appearances, which shows that players find it difficult to get the better of him in physical contests.

Souttar and Goldson could be hard for Ross County’s attackers to beat in the air and on the deck, and that could make them a solid partnership at the back.

Borna Barisic


The scorer of the opening goal against Ayr – Borna Barisic – could keep his place in the team ahead of Turkey international Ridvan Yilmaz at left-back.

He has provided three assists in 11 Premiership starts so far this season and may be hoping to add more goal contributions before the end of the season by bombing forward, as he did to great effect at the weekend.

John Lundstram


Returning to the team at the base of Clement’s midfield, John Lundstrum could anchor the team ahead of Scotland international Ryan Jack.

The former Sheffield United ace, who was once described as the “cornerstone” of the team by Maurice Ross, is a reliable presence in the middle of the park, having completed 88% of his attempted passes this season.

Tom Lawrence


Tom Lawrence was rested against Ayr and should now be brought back into the starting XI after an impressive display in the Premiership last time out.

The former Derby County star started in the middle of the park alongside Lundstram against Aberdeen and registered a Sofascore rating of 7.6, as his terrific effort from distance resulted in Todd Cantwell’s winning goal.

He has created four ‘big chances’ and provided two assists in 11 league appearances for the Light Blues, but is still searching for his first goal.

Todd Cantwell


Another player who should be brought back into the starting XI is former Norwich City midfielder Cantwell, who made a big impact off the bench at the weekend.

He came on for Mohammed Diomande in the number ten position and created the second goal of the game – for Fabio Silva – with a fantastic run and deflected cross that fell kindly for the striker.

Diomande, who is still settling into life in Glasgow after his move in the last transfer window, could be ditched from the XI to bring Cantwell, who has scored three goals in his last four Premiership matches, back in.

The 25-year-old magician should line up ahead of Lawrence and Lundstram and look to provide a threat in the final third with his quality as a scorer and a creator of goals.

Ross McCausland


On the right side of the attack, academy graduate Ross McCausland should return to the starting XI ahead of Scott Wright as the fourth and final change.

The former Aberdeen winger started against Ayr and failed to register a goal or an assist from the right flank. This means that he has only produced two goals and zero assists in 20 appearances in all competitions for the Light Blues so far this season.

Meanwhile, McCausland has registered three assists in his last five appearances for Rangers in all competitions, and started on the right in the last league match against the Dons.

The Northern Irish youngster provides direct play and creativity, as shown by his recent form, and that is why Clement should unleash him ahead of the lacklustre Wright.

Fabio Silva


The centre-forward position should go to Fabio Silva after the Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee got himself on the scoresheet once again against Ayr.

He has scored in each of his last two starts for Rangers – against Livingston and Ayr – and should be provided with an opportunity to continue that streak against Ross County.

Oscar Cortes


Finally, Oscar Cortes should retain his place on the left wing after a Player of the Match performance against Ayr at the weekend on his full debut.

The Colombian wizard provided the assist for Borna Barisic’s open goal – his first goal contribution since his move from Lens – and could provide more creativity on the flank on Wednesday night.

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