Preview: Rangers (h)

Last updated : 12 November 2008 By Firparkcorner

Time to celebrate
It must be said that for a while on Sunday Rangers were simply excellent and if they hit that form we will struggle to cope with them. In fairness Kilmarnock did have some injury problems and would probably hope to do better with a full choice team but they were still completely outclassed.

There is a chance that their rhythm will be disrupted by the nasty looking injury Kevin Thomson picked up and though Barry Ferguson can be a quality player, he might not be fully match sharp yet and could change the balance of the midfield.

On our side we still have defensive issues as Craigan looks set to miss out once more through injury but Malcolm has actually looked a more than capable replacement beside Reynolds so far. It would be a surprise if any of the defence or the midfield trio are dropped while with Clarkson suspended there will be at least one change in the attack. Jamie Murphy would seem the logical replacement if we keep our 4-3-3 although Jim O'Brien could also be considered if we move to a 4-4-2.

Attention will also be paid to the stands as this is the first test of our cheap tickets for the Old Firm policy. Will they sell out both ends and even if they do, will a reduction in Motherwell fans make the extra money generated there irrelevant? This debate won't go away when the price structure is in place and regardless of the result, this conversation will resume on Thursday morning.

The fact the match is both mid-week and on television will offer the board a reasonable excuse should the crowd be disappointing but the Setanta aspect may be of more concern to Mark McGhee. We haven't won a live game on that channel since Skippy Sunday in 2005 and we have failed to beat Rangers since Boxing Day 2002. It is surely time to put these runs to an end - it will be a battle but at our best we can come out on top, 2-1.

Remember the last time Rangers were at Fir Park?