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The gap is closing between Celtic and Rangers – fine, the gap is closing very, very slowly, but closing it is! Windass was quoted as saying as such last week and now that their very much changed line-up is fusing together, their performances are improving and with it, the results too.
The Light Blues make the short journey to Hampden Park on Sunday for a League Cup semi-final which can go a long way to defining their season. A final appearance and better still, a cup win would show the club are really back on track. Pedro Caixinha could potentially line up with the following XI in a 4-4-1-1 formation which suits current star men Pena and Morelos:
As time goes on, he remains a solid stopper for Rangers and although he doesn’t grab many headlines, he is equally not the reason they lose games either.
The ex-Newcastle man has hit a bit of form and is learning not to be too exuberant in going forward while leaving gaps at the back.
Forming a solid central defensive partnership with the experienced Bruno Alves should be Cardoso. The two will be vital if Rangers are to reach another final.
The manager must be gutted that couldn’t use Alves in the Old Firm match as he has really shown his quality this season. A semi-final at Hampden is definitely his stage.
A more than able replacement for Lee Wallace, John shows great attacking intent down the left and may be somewhat of a secret weapon in the final third on Sunday.
Now that Caixinha has settled on this formation, given the form of Pena, Candeias’ style as an old school winger running down the right suits the side so much more and negates the need for Tavernier to attack too much.
The former Aberdeen captain loves this sort of stage and is set to return from suspension for the big day in place of Jason Holt.
Dorrans is one of the best players in this league and in fact could still do a job in the English Premier League. His contribution here will be crucial to the result, especially in cahoots with Jack.
A surprise package for sure; Windass looked like following the likes of Waghorn, McKay and Garner out of the club during the summer but has made himself indispensable of late in this position.
Comfortable in midfield when Rangers defend and bursting forward in support of Morelos when they have the ball, Pena’s performances in this role have been outstanding of late and long may it continue for the sake of this beleaguered league and cup.
Hitting top form now, Morelos could do with a goal or two on this sort of stage to truly establish himself with the Rangers supporters.