MX23RW : Tuesday, June 15 09:51:02| >> :60:2569:2569:
Apr 4, 2021 at 6.30pm UK at Ibrox Stadium
RangersRangers
4-0
Cove RangersCove Rangers
Defoe (24'), Roofe (31', 32'), Patterson (43')
Bassey (34'), Davis (36')
FT(HT: 4-0)

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Scottish Cup clash between Rangers and Cove Rangers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Scottish Premiership champions Rangers host League One outfit Cove Rangers in the Scottish Cup on Easter Sunday, hoping to reach the fourth round of the competition for the 14th successive season.

Meanwhile, the visitors are unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions, including a 3-2 victory over Alloa Athletic in the second round of the Scottish Cup.


Match preview

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard pictured on January 2, 2021© Reuters

Despite crashing out of the Europa League to Slavia Prague, Rangers are still hopeful of adding another trophy to their collection this season when they enter the third round stage of the Scottish Cup.

The Gers last won the competition 12 years ago when Nacho Novo scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 victory over Falkirk at Hampden Park; Rangers have since reached the semi-finals three times and lost the 2015-16 final to Hibernian.

Steven Gerrard's side have failed to win any of their last three matches in all competitions, their longest run without a victory so far this season.

Their unbeaten league record remains intact after drawing 1-1 in the Old Firm derby just before the international break. Alfredo Morelos's brave close-range header cancelled out Mohammed Elyounoussi's earlier strike, which extended their run to 33 matches without defeat with only five Scottish Premiership games left to play.

The Gers have never faced Cove Rangers in a competitive match before, but they should have plenty of confidence heading into Sunday's fixture, with a comfortable win expected at Ibrox.

Rangers' Filip Helander celebrates scoring against Slavia Prague in the Europa League on March 11, 2021© Reuters

Cove Rangers's rapid rise from the Highland League has been nothing short of impressive and their hopes of securing a third successive promotion remain in sight.

In the 2018-19 season they were promoted to League Two for the first time in their history after defeating Berwick Rangers 7-0 on aggregate in the playoffs, and then the following year, the League Two season was terminated due to the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in Cove gaining promotion to the third tier.

They now sit second in League One, four points behind league leaders Falkirk, who they will face on home soil later this month.

Manager Paul Hartley – who made 62 appearances for Celtic as a player between 2007 and 2009 – believes their Scottish Cup trip to Ibrox is a welcome distraction from their league campaign but insists that their priority remains promotion from League One.

Hartley knows that his part-time squad will be tested to the full on Sunday, but will be hoping that his players can give a good account of themselves against the Scottish Premiership champions.

Rangers form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D

Cove Rangers Scottish Cup form:
  • W

Cove Rangers form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W


Team News

Rangers' James Tavernier receives medical attention after sustaining an injury in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Rangers captain James Tavernier is closing in on his return to action after being out since February with a knee injury sustained in the Europa League first-leg clash with Royal Antwerp.

However, midfielder Ryan Jack has been sent to see a London specialist as his injury woes rumble on; the 29-year-old has not featured for the Gers since February 21 due to a calf problem.

Right-back Nathan Patterson, midfielder Bongani Zungu and left-back Calvin Bassey are all unavailable for selection as the Scottish FA have banned the trio for six matches after breaching coronavirus regulations last month.

Gerrard may decide to rotate a few players this weekend, with goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin set to be handed a start ahead of Allan McGregor, who signed a new one-year contract with the club on Thursday.

Cove Rangers boss Hartley could bring midfielder Jamie Masson, who scored twice in Tuesday's 2-0 victory over Airdrieonians, into the starting lineup ahead of Sebastian Ross.

Left-back Harry Milne has been ruled out for the rest of the season and will undergo surgery on ruptured ankle ligaments; this is likely to see Kieran Ngwenya keep his place in the first XI.

Top goalscorer Mitchell Megginson, who has found the net nine times in 12 league appearances this campaign, is set to lead the line alongside Leighton McIntosh.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
McLaughlin; Balogun, Goldson, Helander, Baricic; Kamara, Arfield; Wright, Hagi, Itten; Defoe

Cove Rangers possible starting lineup:
McKenzie; Sc. Ross; Strachan, Graham, Ngwenya; Fyvie, Yule, Scully, Masson; McIntosh, Megginson


SM words green background

We say: Rangers 3-0 Cove Rangers


Gerrard is keen to ensure that his Rangers players do not underestimate the visitors on Sunday as he dreams of lifting his second trophy as the Gers boss this campaign.

The gulf in class is seemingly too great for Cove to overcome, and we feel that the hosts should have no problems in progressing to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals 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.Under 2.5:curl


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