Rangers have been in flying form of late, but they don’t exactly go goal crazy. Steven Gerrard’s men have scored two goals or fewer in each of their last six games and seem to struggle to put teams to the sword on a regular basis.
They were 2-0 up against lowly Livingston after 16 minutes last week, for instance, and failed to find the back of the net again, while it took them 68 minutes to break down Lech Poznan in Europe on Thursday. It seems as though Rangers’ solidity at the back has come at the expense of some of their attacking threat and they fail to really hammer teams that they should be beating emphatically.
Sunday 12pm: Kilmarnock v Rangers
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Rangers’ defensive record is superb. They have conceded in just two games this season and have conceded just three goals in the league (and none in the Europa League group stages). They will undoubtedly persist with that system at Kilmarnock, which is by no means an easy place to go.
While Rangers never really steamroller teams, Kilmarnock are never really hammered. Their 2-0 defeat at Ibrox earlier in the season was the heaviest defeat they have suffered and they have been reasonably solid at home, holding Celtic to a draw earlier this term. Rangers, who have played in Europe less than 72 hours before this game, will be happy with any sort of win so Kilmarnock (+2) on the handicap is the value play here.
As good as Rangers have been this season, they have really struggled in terms of a prolific goalscorer, perhaps explaining why they are not regularly hammering teams. Right-back James Tavernier is the club’s top scorer in the league with just five goals, which is a poor reflection on the forwards at the club.
In fact, Tavernier is the club’s top scorer in all competitions with nine goals in 17 games and even though he is the club’s penalty taker, several goals haven’t been from the spot. It speaks volumes that Tavernier is one of the most likely players to score on Sunday and really highlights the problems of Rangers’ forwards.
Talisman Alfredo Morelos has scored just three times in the league this year, netting once away from Ibrox, while new signing Kemar Roofe has managed just two league goals. Ryan Kent started the season strongly with four goals in his opening seven games, but he has now not scored in his last five and it is Tavernier, who has scored three in his last four, that is the best value to find the back of the net on Sunday.
Rangers have been absolutely phenomenal at the back this season. They have conceded just three times – in games against Motherwell and Hibs away – and they have recorded an impressive 10 clean sheets in 12 league games. In their last away trip at Celtic, they restricted their hosts to no shots on target and they look by far the best defensively-organised side in the division.
It is hard to see how Kilmarnock break them down, especially considering they have the worst goalscoring record of the top five. It just seems that Rangers will keep a clean sheet in every single league game they play at this stage and they should do so again on Sunday, with Both Teams To Score? No being a tidy selection. Some of the braver punters may also fancy combining this bet with Kilmarnock (+2) by backing Rangers to win 1-0.
Tips for Kilmarnock v Rangers
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