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Preview: Rangers vs. St Mirren - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Rangers and St Mirren head into Sunday's Scottish Premiership encounter at Ibrox having both recorded narrow victories last weekend.

While Rangers edged out Aberdeen at Pittodrie, St Mirren outfought Livingston to begin the campaign in the best possible manner.


Match preview

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard reacts on March 12, 2020© Reuters

With Steven Gerrard having claimed that Alfredo Morelos's 'head has been turned' by interest from Lille, the Rangers manager gave the impression that he will be relieved when the growing transfer saga comes to an end.

However, the longer that the Colombian remains in Glasgow, it leaves Gerrard with a decision to make with regards to his selection, aware that his star man performed below par in the defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League.

More importantly for Gerrard, he must ensure that Rangers can keep pace with Celtic during the early weeks of the season as he bids to prevent their nearest rivals from winning 10 league titles in a row.

Despite only prevailing by a 1-0 scoreline at Aberdeen last Saturday, the Englishman would have taken the positives from his side being able to keep a clean sheet in their opening game of the campaign.

While Rangers will no doubt have to improve going forward, three points were recorded ahead of welcoming opponents who will also be on a high after their first fixture.

Having only finished six points above the drop zone last season, St Mirren would have been desperate to get off to a positive start in a fixture against Livingston which they would have considered to be winnable.

The decisive goal from debutant Richard Tait, a diving header from a fine cross from the right, was followed by the Buddies keeping a clean sheet.

That part of their game was rarely an issue last season with just 41 goals being conceded from 30 games, and it keeps the pressure on the players at the other end of the pitch.

Jonathan Obika has netted eight of just 25 goals scored by St Mirren in the top flight since last August, leaving his teammates with something extra to find over the coming weeks.

Rangers Scottish Premiership form: W
Rangers form (all competitions): WL

St Mirren Scottish Premiership form: W


Team News

Alfredo Morelos in action for Rangers on December 12, 2019© Reuters

Given the speculation regarding his future, Gerrard may take the opportunity to drop Morelos down to the substitutes' bench.

Despite limited time training with his teammates, Kemar Roofe could be provided with an immediate debut.

Leon Balogun will return after being ineligible for the Europa League, while Steven Davis should feature in central midfield.

Barring any late fitness issues, St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin could select the same XI which began the triumph over Livingston.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic: Jack, Davis, Aribo; Hagi, Roofe, Kent

St Mirren possible starting lineup:
Alnwick; Fraser, McCarthy, Shaughnessy, Tait; Foley, MacPherson; McAllister, McGrath, Dummas; Obika


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We say: Rangers 2-0 St Mirren

While Rangers are naturally regarded as the favourites, you have to take into consideration that Morelos may be left out of the contest. With that in mind, we are backing the home side to run out victors by a relatively narrow margin.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting that at least one team will not score (BTTS - no) 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.BTTS No:data

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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard reacts on March 12, 2020
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Steven Gerrard: 'Alfredo Morelos must stay focused amid transfer talk'
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers5401104612
2Hibernian5320104611
3Hearts532073411
4Motherwell531185310
5Celtic5302163139
6Aberdeen52216518
7Dundee UnitedDundee Utd521224-27
8St Johnstone503224-23
9Dundee5032411-73
10St Mirren5032310-73
11Ross County5023311-82
12Livingston501429-71

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