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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish Premiership clash between Rangers and Kilmarnock, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Rangers will head into their Scottish Premiership encounter with Kilmarnock on Saturday hoping to maintain their perfect record at Ibrox and claim their 14th home win of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Killie have failed to pick up any points from their last six league matches, conceding 14 goals and scoring just twice.


Match preview

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

Rangers have been rampant throughout this campaign as they march towards their first top-flight title since 2011, but a bad day at the office last weekend allowed Hamilton to come from behind and score a 95th-minute equaliser, snatching a precious point from the Gers.

Manager Steven Gerrard expressed how relived he was to come away with a point after labelling his side's performance as their 'worst of the season'.

Despite dropping two points, the result should not change the eventual destination of the Scottish Premiership crown as Rangers are 18 points clear of rivals Celtic, who won 4-0 away at St Mirren on Wednesday.

The Gers, who need just six more victories to clinch the title, remain on course to be crowned champions against their Glaswegian foes at Celtic Park, if both sides win all of their league matches heading into the Old Firm derby on March 21.

Rangers have an immaculate record at Ibrox this season, having won all 13 Scottish Premiership matches at home, scoring 39 goals and conceding just once.

The Gers have been victorious in four of their last five league meetings with Kilmarnock, including both of their encounters this campaign, winning 2-0 in August and 1-0 away from home in November.

Victory against Killie on Saturday and winning all of their remaining league matches this term would see Rangers accumulate a total of 106 points, which would equal the record set by Brendan Rodgers's Celtic team in 2016-17.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright pictured in January 2016© Reuters

New Kilmarnock boss Tommy Wright was unable to get off to a winning start as his side lost 1-0 at home to Motherwell on Wednesday evening.

Allan Campbell's second-half strike proved to be enough to seal all three points for the visitors, inflicting a sixth straight league defeat on Killie and leaving them just one point above the bottom two.

Despite defeat, Wright took plenty of encouragement from their performance but hopes that his side can improve going forward as their efforts in the final third failed to test Steelmen stopper Liam Kelly.

Kilmarnock head into their encounter with Rangers having lost 23 of their last 29 top-flight matches against them, although Saturday's fixture will be nearly a year to the day since they defeated Gerrard's men last season, recording a 2-1 victory at Rugby Park.

A surprise triumph against the Gers would see Kilmarnock remain in 10th, but they could move four points clear of Ross County, who are one place below them, if they were to lose against Hibernian.

Rangers Scottish Premiership form: WDWWWD

Kilmarnock Scottish Premiership form: LLLLLL


Team News

Rangers striker Kemar Roofe celebrates scoring against Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership on November 22, 2020© Reuters

Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos is to serve the third and final game of his three-match ban this weekend, while Kemar Roofe was given a two-game ban by the Scottish FA on Wednesday after he was found guilty of serious foul play for a tackle made on St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson.

The absence of both forwards could see either Cedric Itten retain his place in the first XI or Jermain Defoe handed a start up front.

Steven Davies and Ryan Jack could also return to the starting lineup at the expense of Bongani Zungu and Glen Kamara.

Kilmarnock remain without key defensive duo Kirk Broadfoot (knee) and Stuart Findlay (ankle), who are both suffering with injuries, while left-back Calum Waters is also out with a groin strain.

Striker Danny Whitehall could be handed a start up front alongside Nicke Kabamba, which could see one of Greg Kiltie or Rory McKenzie drop to the bench.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic; Davies, Jack, Aribo; Hagi, Itten, Kent

Kilmarnock possible starting lineup:
Doyle; McGowan, Dikamona, Medley, Haunstrup; Burke, Power, Dicker, McKenzie; Kabamba, Whitehall


SM words green background

We say: Rangers 3-0 Kilmarnock

Rangers will want to bounce back from the draw at Hamilton and head into Thursday's Europa League tie with Royal Antwerp with a positive result from their game against Kilmarnock.

Gerrard's men have looked unstoppable at home this campaign and with his side facing one of the league's most out-of-form outfits, we expect the Gers to cruise to a comfortable victory on Saturday.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 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.Over 2.5:data


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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard pictured on January 2, 2021
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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
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RUGBY SEVENS
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HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
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ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
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> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Aberdeen00000000
2Celtic00000000
3Dundee00000000
4Dundee UnitedDundee Utd00000000
5Hearts00000000
6Hibernian00000000
7Livingston00000000
8Motherwell00000000
9RangersRangers00000000
10Ross County00000000
11St Johnstone00000000
12St Mirren00000000

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