McInnes must play this XI in Rangers clash v Ross County if hired: Forward axed after rotten form
If Derek McInnes is named as the next Rangers manager then the 46-year-old could find himself in the home dugout at Ibrox for the first time on Saturday when the Gers face Ross County.
To pick the best possible team, he must make three changes to the side which started against what could be his former Aberdeen side on Sunday, and his biggest call must be to axe senior forward Kenny Miller due to his rotten form.
The Light Blues had an approach for the Aberdeen boss rejected on Tuesday night, as confirmed in a statement released on the Dons’ website, but it’s very likely that Rangers will make another attempt to get McInnes to Ibrox.
With continued injuries to a number of key players, McInnes’ options would be seriously limited when Owen Coyle’s side come to Ibrox with the likes of Danny Wilson, Bruno Alves, Lee Wallace, Graham Dorrans and Jordan Rossiter all missing through injury and Ryan Jack looking at a three-match ban.
Fabio Cardoso, Jamie Barjonas and Alfredo Morelos must all come into the starting XI with Wilson, Jack and Miller making way as the Gers continue with the 4-1-2-1-2 which found great success against Aberdeen.
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Wes Foderingham should keep his place in goal with James Tavernier, Cardoso, David Bates and Declan John starting in the Gers’ back four.
Bates’ man-of-the-match performance at Pittodrie warrants him keeping his place in the side while Bruno Alves’ knee injury and a head knock suffered by Wilson could keep both out of the Ibrox clash with Cardoso making his first start since the Scottish League Cup semi-final defeat by Motherwell.
Should either Wilson or Alves prove their fitness ahead of the match, Cardoso would likely be the one to drop to the bench but – at the time of writing – both are big doubts for Saturday’s clash.
Ross McCrorie’s form means he should be a sure-fire pick at the base of Rangers’ midfield diamond with Jason Holt and Jamie Barjonas ahead of him.
Ryan Jack could still be available for selection with his appeal against his red card against Aberdeen due to be heard later in the week.
The surprising return to form of Carlos Pena – and a shortage of bodies – means the Mexican should make another start in the number 10 role with in-form Josh WIndass partnering the returning Josh Windass up front.
Morelos’ return should mean Kenny Miller returning to the bench as it’s incredibly difficult to justify keeping Morelos on the bench for Miller, dropping Windass for him or altering the side’s shape to accommodate the veteran.
In other Rangers news, Celtic have suddenly become a key part in the Gers’ bid to appoint McInnes.