Nemane starts among four changes: This Rangers XI would demolish Partick Thistle
By James Black
Pedro Caixinha should bring in Aaron Nemane as one of four changes into his Rangers starting XI to face Partick Thistle in the Betfred Cup.
The Gers travel to Firhill for the second time in four days tonight as Caixinha faces a mini injury crisis ahead of Celtic visiting Ibrox on Saturday.
Winger Nemane signed on-loan from Manchester City and with Lee Wallace, Niko Kranjcar, Jordan Rossiter and Kenny Miller all definitely missing the trip to face Partick, it would be a good opportunity for the youngster to be given his first start.
Declan John will replace Lee Wallace at left-back and Carlos Pena is likely to take Graham Dorrans’ starting place but with Miller – who started on Friday – also missing it gives Caixinha an opportunity to tweak his side tactically.
The Gers have struggled to break down teams who have sat in and looked to defend against them so moving to a 4-2-3-1 formation might just give Rangers the penetration they have lacked.
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Josh Windass has been first pick at left wing but with Miller missing, the former Accrington Stanley star could find himself playing just behind Alfredo Morelos with Nemane and Daniel Candeias on the flanks.
Jak Alnwick will resume responsibility in goal a Caixinha continues to start the January signing in cup ties this season.
A win tonight would be the perfect boost for Caixinha’s side ahead of Celtic’s visit to Ibrox on Saturday and should be a good opportunity for one or two of Rangers’ fringe players to stake a claim for a regular first-team place.
Declan John and Carlos Pena could also make their first starts since joining Rangers over the summer as Caixinha’s squad is stretched to its limit thanks to injury.
Both have been limited to substitute appearances so far but could get an opportunity from the start to show fans what they can do.
In other Rangers team news, Chris Sutton has destroyed a midfielder for his display during Friday’s draw against Partick Thistle.