Rangers match preview

Match Preview
Rangers vs. Ayr United
Betfred Cup Quarter-Final
Wednesday 26th September 2018. Kick-off 7.45pm

Tonight (Wednesday), sees Ayr United travel to Glasgow to take on Rangers in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup. The high flying Honest Men returned to the top of the Championship on Saturday with a 2-0 at Alloa and are the division’s last remaining representatives in the competition.

 

The clean-sheet at the Indodrill Stadium was our eighth of the season and sixth away from home in just seven games while at the opposite end of the park, Lawrence Shankland took his tally to 15 goals in 12 games, nine of them coming in the league cup.

 

Opponents:
Rangers resurrection under Steven Gerrard has seen them qualify for the group stages of the Europa League, having overcoming clubs from Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Russia in qualifying. Last Thursday, they held Villarreal to a credible draw in Spain, before brushing aside St. Johnstone 5-1 at Ibrox on Sunday to climb to second place in the Premiership table.

 

They have lost just once in all competitions this season, at Celtic Park at the start of the month, and only Croatians Osijek have avoided defeat in Govan.

 

The Light Blues reached this stage of the Betfred Cup with a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos scored a hat-trick against Steve Clarke’s side last month and Rangers will see the competition – which they have won more than any other side – as a great opportunity to lift their first national cup competition since 2011.

 

Morelos – who earned his first cap for the Colombian national team in an international against Venezuela last month – leads the way as Rangers top goalscorer this season with seven goals, and captain James Tavernier has weighed in with five from right-back.

Team News: Daniel Harvie comes back into the squad after suspension.

Ian says: “We are well aware of the size of tonight’s task however we have good players and we have been encouraging them to go out and show how good they are. It will be a great occasion, one for everyone to enjoy and although we know how hard it will be we are going there to try and cause them problems and win the game. We know we have goals in this team and right now they are all enjoying their football. The playing surface will be superb and our fans will make plenty of noise.”

Head to head (at Ibrox):
Ayr United wins – 2
Draws – 6
Rangers wins – 38

 

The Honest Men’s only wins at Ibrox came in 1915 and 1959.

Ayr and Rangers have met 11 times in the League Cup, most recently in the final of the competition in 2002, a match Rangers won 4-0 at Hampden Park. United’s only win came in a quarter-final second-leg tie at Somerset Park in 1953, a 3-2 win not enough to overcome the first leg deficit.

Last Meeting:
The sides last met seven months ago in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup at a snowy Somerset Park. Alan Forrest put United ahead in the 11th minute after ‘keeper Wes Foderingham’s error. Alfredo Morelos equalised 20 minutes later and it was level at half-time but Graeme Murty’s side ran away with it after the hour mark, scoring five goals without reply.

 

Forrest was also on the scoresheet when the Honest Men last met at Ibrox, in April 2014. Bilel Mohsni opened the scoring in the 54th minutes before Forrest scored an equaliser in the League 1 encounter only for the Tunisian defender Mohsni to grab the winner with 8 minutes to go in the game.

Match Officials:
Referee – Bobby Madden
Assistant Referee 1 – Graham Chambers
Assistant Referee 2 – Daniel McFarlane
Fourth Official – Nick Walsh

We thank you for travelling to support the team.  Your support is vital.  However, we all need to be able to enjoy watching games in a safe and considerate environment. 

We ask that you support the players and team without resorting to unacceptable behaviour that can lead either Club or individuals facing charges.

All Scottish grounds have a searching policy as a condition of entry. 

Possessing or using any pyro device and anyone detected will be liable to prosecution and a lifetime ban from football stadiums.

 Copies of Ayr United’s Unacceptable Conduct Policy can be found on our website.  http://www.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/unacceptable-conduct-policy/

Thank you and enjoy the game.