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Rangers will begin their Scottish Cup journey with an away tie against Fraserburgh FC in the 4th round of the competition on Sunday.
The Gers, who sit third in the Scottish Premiership, will be keen on enjoying a good run in the cup competitions and would see the Scottish Cup as an avenue to stand a chance of winning some silverware. They come into the game on the back of a four-game unbeaten run, including the club’s Florida Cup clashes against Atletico Mineiro and Corinthians.
Veteran defender Bruno Alves is a doubt for the Light Blues. The Portuguese centre-half hasn’t played a game since being taken off with an injury against arch rivals Celtic before the turn of the new year. Ross McCrorie and Ryan Jack who missed out on the Florida Cup matches due to some problems are expected to return, whereas Kenny Miller, Lee Wallace and Graham Dorrans are still on their way to recovery.
Here’s how Graeme Murty might set his side out against the minnows on Sunday:
The former Newcastle United shot-stopper has been the designated goalie for the cup games for Rangers. That shouldn’t change this weekend.
The Englishman has been one of the better players for the Gers this season and should keep his place on the right-hand side of the defence.
With Bruno Alves out with an injury, Murty is likely to hand reserve centre-back David Bates a start in the defence.
Bates is likely to be partnered by Portuguese defender Fabio Cardoso, who hasn’t been involved heavily in the past couple of months.
At left-back, versatile defender Lee Hodson is expected to take the pitch ahead of first-team regular Declan John.
Having been recalled from loan in the winter window, the midfielder impressed in the Florida Cup games and could be in line for a start on Sunday.
Partnering Halliday in the central areas of the pitch should be the reliable Jason Holt. Has grown into an important player for Rangers under Murty and will look to put in a strong display.
Another player who has been recalled from his loan spell, winger Michael O’Halloran could be given a chance to impress on Sunday, starting on the right-wing.
Operating in the hole behind the striker should be 33-year old midfielder Niko Kranjcar. The Croatian has made just 10 appearances this term and will look at the cup game as a chance to work his way back into the first-team.
Signed from Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion in January, winger Jamie Murphy could be set for his competitive debut for his new club.
Spearheading the attack for the Glasgow based outfit should be leading goal-scorer Alfredo Morelos, ahead of Eduardo Herrera.