After an authoritative victory over St. Johnstone over the weekend, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers have leapfrogged to 2nd position in the Scottish Premiership table.
They will be looking to gain momentum and knit a run of victories when they face-off against Championship side Ayr on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Scottish League Cup.
Although Gers have the quality, experience and depth in their squad, they will be up against the pacesetters of the second division. With 13 points and just one defeat from six matches, Ayr sit on top of the table.
Jamie Murphy, Lee Wallace and Jordan Rossiter are long-term casualties. This game comes too soon for the likes of Gareth McAuley and Ryan Jack, who are both suffering from calf injuries.
Wes Foderingham, who started in goal in the previous game of this competition, will get his chance once more.
Borna Barisic will be looking to improve on his recent displays as he fields the left-back spot. Nikola Katic and Joe Worrall will play as centre-halves.
While Katic has been one of Gerrard’s main players, Worrall’s ability to cover ground quickly, win aerial duels and tackle is expected to grant him a start. The dependable James Tavernier will occupy the right side of the four-man defence.
Ovie Ejaria is fully fit now and is likely to occupy the right central midfield. Alongside him will be Graham Dorrans, who is yet to start a game for Rangers this season. While Dorrans will sit back and play as a gatekeeper, Ejaria should conduct a more advanced role alongside Scott Arfield.
Ryan Kent is the talk of the town at the moment, for his pace, an exhibition of skills and combativeness. The youngster should start again here. Glenn Middleton will be looking to take his chance when he covers the wings.
Kyle Lafferty will spearhead the forward line in place of Alfredo Morelos.
Probable XI (4-3-3)
Barisic – Katic – Worrall – Tavernier
Dorrans – Arfield – Ejaria
Kent – Middleton – Lafferty