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Preview: Livingston vs. Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Scottish Premiership fixture between Livingston and Rangers, including team news and predicted lineups.

Rangers square off against Livingston on Sunday afternoon looking to extend their winning streak at the start of the new Scottish Premiership campaign to four matches.

Meanwhile, Livingston welcome the league leaders to The Tony Macaroni Arena still looking for their first victory of the season.


Match preview

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard pictured on August 9, 2020© Reuters

While the importance of early season form is sometimes brushed off, there is little doubting that these early weeks for Rangers could prove to be the difference between ending their decade-long wait for a league title and another runners-up spot.

With Celtic sidelined due to coronavirus issues, a scenario has emerged where their fierce rivals can move eight points clear by the end of the weekend.

Given the games in hand for his side, Neil Lennon will feel comfortable with the situation, but opposite number Steven Gerrard will be stressing to his squad that they have to take advantage of the opportunity to build a commanding lead.

Although speculation persists regarding the future of Alfredo Morelos, the Colombian has played his part in the Glasgow giants scoring seven goals without reply against Aberdeen, St Mirren and St Johnstone respectively.

For Gerrard, however, it is all about the team, and there is every sign that he has put together a squad which may be capable of pushing Celtic harder than their previous two attempts.

From Livingston's perspective, there would have been a sense of relief after they twice battled back to claim a share of the spoils at Motherwell on Wednesday night.

The 4-1 defeat at home to Hibernian in the previous game had hinted that Gary Holt may have a problem in getting his squad quickly back on track, even at this early stage of the season.

However, the comeback at Fir Park, which came when having to deal with an early injury to Ciaron Brown, will only encourage the Lions boss ahead of welcoming the form team in the country.

With two teams remaining on zero points behind them, it also provides Holt with a bit more leeway when it comes to trying to spring a surprise against Rangers or Aberdeen the following week.

Livingston Scottish Premiership form: LLD

Rangers Scottish Premiership form: WWW
Rangers form (all competitions): WLWW


Team News

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor pictured in December 2018© Reuters

Gerrard must decide whether to hand a recall to Allan McGregor after injury or stick with deputy stopper Jon McLaughlin.

With Leon Balogun missing through a minor fitness issue, Filip Helander is expected to be recalled in the middle of the defence.

Gerrard has hinted that Kemar Roofe will remain on the substitutes' bench, leaving Morelos to continue in attack.

Holt has acknowledged that Brown is likely to miss Sunday's contest, which could result in a start for Efe Ambrose.

The Livingston boss has also hinted that he could rotate his squad after their efforts in midweek.

Livingston possible starting lineup:
McCrorie; Fitzwater, Ambrose, Guthrie, Taylor-Sinclair; Bartley, Sibbald; Forrest, Pittman, Robinson; Dykes

Rangers possible starting lineup:
McLaughlin; Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic; Jack, Kamara; Hagi, Aribo, Kent; Morelos


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Livingston 0-3 Rangers

While Livingston produced an improved showing in midweek, we still feel that Rangers will have far too much for their hosts in the final third. Gerrard has improved competition for places, and that could lead to another clinical showing at the weekend.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw:data

ID:410252:

Who will win Sunday's Scottish Premiership clash between Livingston and Rangers?

Livingston
Draw
Rangers
Livingston
19.0%
Draw
11.9%
Rangers
69.0%
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Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos pictured in March 2020
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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers97202231923
2Celtic87102351822
3Hibernian9522138517
4Aberdeen750285315
5Kilmarnock93241211111
6Dundee UnitedDundee Utd9324714-711
7Ross County9324714-711
8Livingston92251014-48
9Motherwell9225713-68
10Hamilton AcademicalHamilton8215613-77
11St Johnstone9216411-77
12St Mirren9216513-87

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