Preview - Rangers (h)

Last updated : 12 January 2006 By Firparkcorner

But are we likely to get that point? Looking at it logically, no we are not. Rangers, despite being terrible in the last 18 months, have had little trouble in swatting us away. Now they are in a slightly better form and they have signed Kris Boyd – a nightmare opponent who still has years in which to torment us. Rangers have lost the league so there is little pressure on them on that front but if the Edinburgh teams win on Saturday, they will have no room for slipping up in the race for Europe.

The East Stand in action

The visitors will choose a front line from Boyd, Novo, Prso, Buffel and Lovenkrands. Facing whatever combination of height and pace they choose will be a weakened Motherwell back line. Stephen Craigan can return after missing the cup loss through suspension but Brian McLean’s loan does not permit him to play against Rangers – which is not unreasonable. An injury to Quinn means that we will choose between McCormack or Kinniburgh to complete the back four. Given that Kevin McBride is still struggling for fitness and we will need some ‘dig’ in midfield, it is likely that Kinniburgh will start, Corrigan will be right back and McCormack will move back into midfield.

Our own striking options are limited by the injury to David Clarkson although it is doubtful if Terry would chose to play him instead of either Hamilton or McDonald anyway. A further complication is that Fagan took a knock in the midweek reserve game.

So, we do not have our problems to seek with team selection whilst Rangers seem to have a free hand. They are playing well whilst we are coming off one of our worst performances in years. On paper, there is only one winner. But we have been known to defy the odds in similar situations in the past. Indeed, we often turn in our best performances when the players have taken stick and feel cornered. They have nothing to lose in this one certainly – few people expect a positive result, a bit more effort and organisation is all that is required to earn pass marks this week.

Terry Butcher, in looking forward to the game said, “On Sunday I want us to give a battling performance and get back to basics and we need to work really hard”.

We will earn pass marks but no points – it’ll be a close run thing but Rangers will sneak it by the odd goal in three.