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St Johnstone's Liam Craig relishing Rangers double-header

St Johnstone's Liam Craig relishing Rangers double-header
© Reuters
St Johnstone face the champions in league and cup action this week.

St Johnstone midfielder Liam Craig is relishing the prospect of taking on Rangers twice this week as the Perth side bid for success on two fronts.

Saints host the Scottish Premiership champions on Wednesday aiming to boost their hopes of a top-five finish and a potential European place.

They then travel to Ibrox on Sunday to take on the favourites in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.

Craig said: "We want to finish fifth in the league so it's a huge game for us and, after losing to Aberdeen the other week, we have made it more difficult for ourselves.

"The cup game will take care of itself. It's a different venue, on a different day, and I imagine it will be different personnel. Steven Gerrard came out and said potentially he was going to rotate his squad as well.

"So two totally different games but two very difficult games. But we want to make it as difficult for Rangers as we can.

"It will be hard enough to beat them once in a season never mind twice in four days.

"But these are the games you want to be involved in as players, in the latter stages of the cup competitions and fighting for European places at the end of the season."

Saints had a tough run of games against Celtic two seasons ago, losing three times in 11 days, but Craig has more positive memories of a double header.

"I remember in 2013 getting beat 5-0 at Celtic Park in the League Cup quarter-final on the Wednesday and then we went back there 10 days later and drew 1-1," he said.

"So you can learn stuff but Rangers have got such belief and confidence and a strong squad that we know how difficult it's going to be.

"You can see right through their team they have match-winners and Steven Davis even scoring overhead kicks, he is usually a wee bit deeper dictating the play.

"But we have put ourselves in a position to compete with these teams and we want to go and put in a performance."

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