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Rangers expected 4-2-3-1 v Hamilton: Defender returns after injury absence

By James Black

Rangers are expected to make one change to their starting line-up for the trip to Hamilton on Friday night.

On-loan defender Declan John is likely to return to Pedro Caixinha’s starting XI at the expense of Northern Irish international Lee Hodson after missing Saturday’s 2-0 Old Firm defeat to Celtic with an injury.

Hodson had a torrid 90 minutes in the Old Firm loss and struggled to have any impact on the game whatsoever and is expected to be replaced by the returning summer signing.

Portuguese defender Bruno Alves could also be fit to return to the Gers line-up but it’s unlikely he would be risked on Hamilton’s plastic pitch meaning Ross McCrorie will be in line to make his second start.

Wes Foderingham could retain his place in goal to make his 103rd appearance for the Gers with James Tavernier, Fabio Cardoso, Ross McCrorie and John making up the defence.

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Ahead of them, Ryan Jack and Graham Dorrans will likely be tasked with controlling the middle of the pitch and protecting the defence with Daniel Candeias and Josh Windass continuing on the flanks in Gers’ 4-2-3-1 formation.

Mexican midfielder Carlos Pena may continue in the number 10 role as he continues to get up to speed with the Scottish game but will need to provide more in support of lone striker Alfredo Morelos than he did against Celtic.

Morelos will be eager to get back on the goal trail again after failing to score in his last two outings for the Gers.

The 20-year-old has been a revelation since his summer move from HJK Helsinki over the summer and is currently the top scorer in the Scottish Premiership.

The Gers currently trail leaders Celtic by eight points in the Scottish Premiership and a win over Hamilton would see them leapfrog St. Johnstone and Hibernian into third place in the table.

Caixinha is coming under pressure from fans after some poor results and needs to guide his side to three points against Hamilton or face possibility of being out of a job before too long.

In other Rangers news, this 26-year-old has been confirmed to have suffered a freak injury before the Gers’ clash with Hamilton.

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