By James Black
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha will ring the changes tonight when his side travel to Firhill to face Partick Thistle in the quarter-final of the Betfred Cup – with 27-year-old midfielder Carlos Pena poised to make his first start.
The Portuguese manager is expected to make four changes to the side which drew 2-2 with Thistle on Friday night as they try and book a place in the last four of the League Cup.
Club captain Lee Wallace will definitely miss out through injury and Caixinha has confirmed that Kenny Miller will be given the night off but there may be another few changes in store for the Gers – who face Old Firm rivals Celtic on Saturday lunchtime.
Graham Dorrans, Niko Kranjcar and Jordan Rossiter all have injury or illness worries ahead of the trip to Maryhill, with the latter duo already ruled out against Alan Archibald’s Jags.
This is likely to mean first starts for Declan John and Carlos Pena as well as a starting place for Mexican striker Eduardo Herrera.
Jak Alnwick is expected to replace Wes Foderingham in goal as Caixinha continues to use the former Port Vale ‘keeper in cup ties.
Caixinha will be looking for a much better result that on Friday night when his side threw away an early lead to trail Partick 2-1 before Graham Dorran’s fantastic second-half strike salvaged them a point.
After the 2-2 draw on Friday, returning to Firhill and besting Partick to book a semi-final spot would be a perfect boost for the Glasgow giants ahead of this weekend’s Old Firm clash.
Fans will be intrigued to see if the Morelos/Herrera partnership can hit the ground running after limited game-time together as well as seeing what £2.2million summer signing Carlos Pena can offer to the side.
The rest of the side should have a distinctly familiar look as Caixinha looks for his first piece of silverware since taking over at Ibrox in March.
In other Rangers team news, Chris Sutton has destroyed a midfielder for his display during Friday’s draw against Partick Thistle.