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23-year-old returns as Murty hand is forced: Rangers expected XI v Kilmarnock

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Rangers manager Graeme Murty is expected to make one change to his starting XI to face Kilmarnock after last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to Celtic.

Injured central defender David Bates is expected to be replaced by Portuguese defender Fabio Cardoso at the heart of the Gers’ defence.

Cardoso, 23, has barely been used by Murty since taking charge at Ibrox but his hand has ultimately been forced thanks to a defensive injury crisis.

Wes Foderingham is expected to keep his place in goal behind a back four of James Tavernier, Cardoso, Portuguese veteran Bruno Alves and Declan John.

Scotland international Russell Martin could make a return to the starting XI but, at the time of writing, isn’t expected to be fit for the visit on in-form Killie.

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Lee Wallace could also return from injury but is unlikely to usurp John at left-back although the club captain could earn a place after playing 90 minutes in the Under-20’s defeat by Brentford B.

The midfield pair of Greg Docherty and Sean Goss could line-up together in the middle of the park while Josh Windass, Jamie Murphy and Daniel Candeias take up their usual berths ahead of them.

Despite missing two gilt-edged chances against Celtic, Alfredo Morelos is expected to start against Killie and get himself back on the scoresheet for the Gers and add to his 17 goals for the season.

The Colombian will no doubt want to prove his doubters wrong after coming in for criticism following his 88th minute miss in Sunday’s Old Firm defeat.

In other Rangers news,  this BBC pundit has said Murty must do these three things or wave goodbye to Ibrox.

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