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Sep 19, 2021 at 3pm UK
Sakala (12')
Tavernier (77')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Woolery (66')
McGinley (19'), van Veen (37'), O'Hara (89')

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

:Headline: Preview: Rangers vs. Motherwell - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Scottish Premiership clash between Rangers and Motherwell, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two of the strongest starters to the 2021-22 Scottish Premiership will face each other on Sunday when Motherwell travel to Ibrox.

While the visitors will be seeking their fourth victory in a row, Rangers must respond to their midweek defeat at the hands of Lyon in the Europa League.

Match preview

Rangers are looking to retain the Scottish Premiership this season, and so far the club are on course to do that as they sit at the top of the league after the opening five games.

While Steven Gerrard's squad are not undefeated, due to a loss against Dundee United in the second game, they have won the other four and that has helped put them in a commanding position so far.

Defensively, the Gers have been impressive this season, having kept five clean sheets across all competitions, with Allan McGregor and Jon McLaughlin shining in goal during the early stages.

Rangers lost their most recent match, which came midweek against Ligue 1 side Lyon, where a Karl Toko Ekambi strike and a James Tavernier own goal started their Europa League campaign poorly.

However, prior to that defeat, Gerrard's squad had actually gone on a six-game undefeated streak, showcasing the type of quality that helped the club win the league last season.

The Gers followed up an important 1-0 victory during the Old Firm derby, by beating St Johnstone 2-1 in their last fixture in the Scottish Premiership, with Tavernier getting on the scoresheet in the latter game.

Motherwell and Rangers competed three times last season, and the Steelmen were unable to win any of the games, having lost twice and drawn once, which was actually their most recent encounter.

Graham Alexander has been able to turn around the poor start that his team had to the season, where they only picked up one point in the opening two matches, while also being knocked out of the Scottish League Cup by Dundee.

Since the loss against the Dark Blues, Motherwell having undergone an undefeated period with a trio of victories helping them climb to fourth in the table.

Their previous two games have actually seen the Steelmen secure clean sheets as well, making their victories against Dundee and Aberdeen even more impressive.

As they sit just two points behind the Gers, a victory would see Alexander's men overtake them in the table, having the potential to actually finish the weekend in first place depending on other results.

Rangers Scottish Premiership form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Rangers form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Motherwell Scottish Premiership form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Motherwell form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Filip Helander came out of the Rangers team against Lyon due to a knee injury he sustained in the previous encounter, but Connor Goldson was able to step back into the starting XI after his self-isolation period came to an end.

Ianis Hagi is currently unavailable to Gerrard though due to testing positive for COVID-19, and it was Joe Aribo who was preferred to Kemar Roofe in the attack.

McGregor won the battle in terms of who started in the net on Thursday, but as usual, McLaughlin is a strong option that will push Gerrard into making a difficult decision.

Borna Barisic and John Lundstram were also chosen from the first whistle against Lyon, and both men could be in contention to retain their places heading into Sunday.

After being named the player of the month for August, Tony Watt will look to continue being a spark for Motherwell on Sunday, with his attacking quality being a crucial part of the team's game plan.

Kevin van Veen started his first match since injuring his back against Aberdeen, and he rewarded the selection with a goal, which should see him in the team again against Rangers.

The Steelmen will also be boosted by the return of Jake Carroll, who will once again be available after serving his suspension, providing further depth to the defensive options, and Stephen O'Donnell has also been back to full training over the past week.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
McGregor; Goldson, Barisic, Tavernier, Balogun; Lundstram, Davis, Kamara; Aribo, Kent, Morelos

Motherwell possible starting lineup:
Kelly; O'Donnell, Johansen, Ojala, McGinley; Grimshaw, O'Hara, Slattery; Woolery, Van Veen, Watt

We say: Rangers 2-1 Motherwell

This is likely going to be a closely contested fixture due to the quality that both teams have and the momentum that is behind them within the league.

While the Steelmen have won a trio of games in a row, the Gers do have a cutting edge and they have already proven that within big games this season, which could lead to them just stealing this one.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data

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