Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Rangers are in a bit of a mini slump right now. Steven Gerrard’s team make the long trip to the Highlands on Sunday to face a Ross County side that is struggling near the foot of the table but has enjoyed some good results in recent weeks. Already 13 points behind Celtic in the league table, and now out of the Scottish Cup too, this looks like being another trophyless season for the Light Blues. For the newly promoted Staggies, this season is all about survival in the top flight. Any points that they can take off the Glasgow giants this weekend will be more than welcome.Stuart Kettlewell’s Staggies have enjoyed a bit of bounce in recent times, having won 1-0 at Aberdeen last weekend. A recent victory over Livingston and a draw with St Johnstone also added very useful points to County’s tally. That bounce came to a bit of brutal end on Wednesday evening, though, when the Highlands outfit fell to a 4-1 defeat away at Motherwell. The view from the terraces was that the Staggies lost out in midfield. That section of the team will need to show more heart and energy against the Gers this weekend back on home soil.
Steven Gerrard’s Light Blues have had a mixed time of it in recent weeks. While there was understandable euphoria in the west end of Glasgow at the team reaching the next stage of the Europa League with a fine aggregate win over Portuguese side Braga, The Gers have also exited the Scottish Cup at the hands of Heart of Midlothian last weekend. That 1-0 defeat to the Edinburgh side was followed up with a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Hamilton Academical in midweek. Celtic already have a huge gap over the Gers in the table, so a victory is much needed.
Some people have been questioning whether or not Steven Gerrard has any future as Rangers boss, with it looking likely that the Light Blues will once again not win a trophy this season. They are still in the Europa League, of course, but their domestic drought is a bone of contention with the club’s fanatical support, which is known for having exceptionally high expectations. Those fans will expect an easy win over the Staggies, based on the history between the two sides.
Ross County have never beaten Rangers since they became a full professional side in the 1994/95 season. The clubs met for the first time in the Scottish Cup in the 2000/01 season. Rangers won that game 2-1 in Dingwall. Since then, there have been eight league games between the sides. The first of those games took place in 2016/17, when Rangers were back in the top tier of Scottish football after the penalties that were imposed on them for financial mismanagement. The three league games between the sides that season all ended in draws, with two of the matches played at Ibrox.
In more recent times, Rangers have been dominant in this fixture. The Govan side have won all of the last five encounters. Conceding just three goals and scoring 13. The clubs have played each other twice in 2019/20. The first encounter, at the Global Energy Stadium in Dingwall, ended in a 4-0 win for the Glaswegians. Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Jack bagged a brace of goals apiece in a straightforward victory. In January, the two sides clashed at Ibrox, and Rangers emerged as 2-0 winners. Jermain Defoe and Scott Arfield grabbed the goals either side of half time.
Given Rangers’ dominance of this fixture, it is hard to look beyond them winning this weekend. A good bet might be found at Coral. They are offering odds of 2.88 on the Gers winning to nil. While those odds don’t look especially generous, the Staggies being held goalless is likely this Sunday. Given their attacking power, Rangers should be able to score at least once.