Rangers FC: 3 players to watch for vs. Kilmarnock

Joe Aribo of Rangers. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Joe Aribo of Rangers. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) /

Rangers FC need to bounce back from last weekend’s frustrating draw with three points against Kilmarnock.

Tomorrow’s clash against Kilmarnock at Ibrox Stadium is the perfect moment for Steven Gerrard to show fans what he is made of. Rangers dropped two massive points against Livingston last weekend, despite dominating the game in every category from start to finish.

A lack of urgency, careless passing, and several wasted chances generated plenty of frustration among Rangers supporters, and they hope their side wakes up tomorrow.

Kilmarnock is off to a poor start as they are yet to register their first victory, but they can be tricky opponents, which should be noted in their 1-1 draw against Celtic on August 9th. It is also important to mention that they did defeat Rangers last season (1-2).

As a result of only taking two points from their first four games, Kilmarnock will be motivated to claim three points for the first time this season.

Gerrard’s men are the better team on paper, but they must play that way on the pitch. That being said, here are three players who could have a meaningful impact for the Bears tomorrow.

Ianis Hagi

Romania’s rising star has his good days and his bad days. His performance against Livingston was underwhelming as he struggled to serve as an effective playmaker.

Livingston were ultra-defensive, which made it difficult for Rangers to break them down collectively, but Hagi knows he needs to deliver against Kilmarnock.

The fact that his fellow attacking midfielders Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo have already scored three of Rangers’ seven goals this season should motivate Hagi to open his scoring account.

Kent is in the best form at the moment, and he will attract the most attention, so Hagi needs to be ready to find open lanes and make the most of his chances in front of goal.

Joe Aribo

The Nigerian international did not suit up against Livingston because of a knock he picked up in training, and his absence was quickly noticed. The good news is that Aribo will be ready to play tomorrow.

Aribo is playing with a new level of confidence, and the momentum he carried over from preseason is extremely beneficial for the club.

Aribo has put his technical skills on display in recent weeks, and that dynamic style of play will be critical for Rangers and their creativity in the final third.

Gerrard would be wise to play him up the middle to get some better looks at goal and set up big plays for his teammates.

James Tavernier

The skipper has been in fine form this season, and he has played his part on both ends of the pitch. His quick defensive reactions have helped Rangers maintain four consecutive clean sheets, and his ability to carry the ball forward has enabled the team to create several dangerous chances.

There is no doubt that Tavernier can perform at an elite level once again this weekend, but can he be a vocal leader? Will he call his teammates out for unforced errors?

Tavernier knows the collective performance against Livingston was unacceptable, and it will be interesting to see how he aims to ensure it is not emulated this weekend.

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