Rangers FC are undefeated to start the season, and their stellar defending has been a key factor to that success.
Despite drawing 0-0 with Livingston over the weekend, Rangers still occupy the top spot in the league table. The Gers are level on points (10) with Hibernian, but are in first place due to having a better goal difference (+7).
Steven Gerrard’s men have scored seven goals in their opening four games of the season, and they have maintained clean sheets in all four clashes against Aberdeen (1-0), St. Mirren (3-0), St. Johnstone (3-0), and Livingston (0-0).
The fact that Rangers have shut out their first four opponents matches a record that was set 70 years ago during the 1949-50 campaign. The only difference is that Bill Struth’s side claimed 12 points from their first four games.
Rangers have impressed with their defensive form this season as their key players, and even new faces, such as Leon Balogun, have performed at elite levels.
The back-line has not been tested much to start the season as a result of defending on a high line and quickly being confrontational. Their four opponents have only managed to create a combined total of 14 shot attempts.
Credit for this record should also be handed to those in the middle of the park as they have done a phenomenal job of disrupting counter-attacks, and maintaining the majority of possession in games to give defenders a breather. On average, Rangers have enjoyed 73% possession this season.
Rangers are playing with tremendous pressure on their shoulders as the main objective is to win the title and stop Celtic’s “10 in a row” campaign.
Defensively, the Bears are playing like a team worthy of raising the title, but Gerrard’s men must become more creative in the final third in order to break down ultra-defensive opponents, with Sunday’s draw serving as a prime example of that.