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G51

Livingston vs Rangers 03/03 6pm

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The People's Champions continue their victory lap of the SPFL Premiership with our toughest remaining game of the season, away to the Tony Macaroni surface.

While I have been drinking far too much Kool-Aid to actually predict a draw in this match, we do not have a good record away to Livi.

Edited by G51

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Hard to tell how the weekend's result will impact Livi. Their heads might be down a bit but I think I'd probably have preferred to have faced them after a cup final victory.

Still though, we should be winning this regardless, but it's never easy at the Tony Mac.

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A 1 - 1 draw for this one, we usually toil at the Tony dome against a really organised team on a dodgy carpet. Lots of stoppages throughout the game will see us struggle to find our rhythm but since they've taken a fair few points from our green n grey pals I won't grumble too much about it.

 

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Would like to think having no game this weekend means Rangers go into this fresh and motivated. Confident with Morelos back and on form then it will be enough for 3 points.

 

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Realistically the result is foregone conclusion, based on current form - if we can show at least something in the match I'd be quite happy. 

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Play like we have done in the past 4 games and we'll be on the end of a scudding....use the defeat in the cup final to spur us on and perform like we know we CAN then we might have a chance at a point. Wouldn't be disappointed with a narrow defeat if we play well. Hope we shake things up a bit though as some players are perhaps to comfortable in their position.

GK: Max - Purely as McCrorie can't play. Hopefully we'll see a reaction from the big Pole after being dropped

 

RWB: McMillan - Has never really had a bad game for us and Devlin has looked really leggy in the last few games...if he doesnt have that burst of pace he's not as effective

CB: Efe - Hasn't done anything to warrant losing his place

CB: Fitzwater - More just for numbers as I think we'll go with 3 at the back

CB: Guthrie - Hasn't been as dominant in the last few games but can't see us dropping him

LWB: ATS - More defensive minded than Serrano and adds height to our backline

 

CM: Pittman - Was anonymous in the final but any time we've played against Rangers he's doubled up well with the wingbacks to give us extra energy out wide

CM: Bartley/Holt - Bartley probably deserves the place on his effort in the cup final out of position but I'm not sure if he'll be fit enough after being doubtful for yesterday yet playing 90 minutes, 70 of which was on the left wing. Holt looked far from the assured professional we've seen previously but has been one of our best players this season

CM: Sibbald - Looked like the only Livi player who wanted the ball at his feet yesterday. Unbelievable that he didn't start.

CAM: Kabia - I really think it's time we gave this lad a serious run out. He's shown real class and determination any time he's stepped onto the park. Confident on the ball and has a great bit of strength and pace about him

 

ST: Robbo - Can't see past him at the moment, he'll chase the Rangers defence who have looked a little more shaky recently. His link up play could also bring Kabia into the game more

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5 hours ago, AJF said:

Hard to tell how the weekend's result will impact Livi. Their heads might be down a bit but I think I'd probably have preferred to have faced them after a cup final victory.

Still though, we should be winning this regardless, but it's never easy at the Tony Mac.

We've still got a game on Wednesday against Accies before we get to this one so might go into it with a win still

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4 hours ago, Cptn Hooch said:

RWB: McMillan - Has never really had a bad game for us and Devlin has looked really leggy in the last few games...if he doesnt have that burst of pace he's not as effective

CB: Efe - Hasn't done anything to warrant losing his place

CB: Fitzwater - More just for numbers as I think we'll go with 3 at the back

CB: Guthrie - Hasn't been as dominant in the last few games but can't see us dropping him

LWB: ATS - More defensive minded than Serrano and adds height to our backline

 

CM: Pittman - Was anonymous in the final but any time we've played against Rangers he's doubled up well with the wingbacks to give us extra energy out wide

CM: Bartley/Holt - Bartley probably deserves the place on his effort in the cup final out of position but I'm not sure if he'll be fit enough after being doubtful for yesterday yet playing 90 minutes, 70 of which was on the left wing. Holt looked far from the assured professional we've seen previously but has been one of our best players this season

CM: Sibbald - Looked like the only Livi player who wanted the ball at his feet yesterday. Unbelievable that he didn't start.

CAM: Kabia - I really think it's time we gave this lad a serious run out. He's shown real class and determination any time he's stepped onto the park. Confident on the ball and has a great bit of strength and pace about him

 

ST: Robbo - Can't see past him at the moment, he'll chase the Rangers defence who have looked a little more shaky recently. His link up play could also bring Kabia into the game more

There's decent numbers backing some of that up, Devlin's absolutely fine though, he does the defensive side of things relatively well and knows when to hang back. It's Serrano I'm worried about in these type of games. His pass accuracy is only 55%, so he loses the ball a lot when he gets it.

Brown and Serrano played similar minutes, Serrano is dribbled past 0.91 times per game whereas Brown was only 0.48. It's almost a guarantee that if Rangers run at Serrano they'll eventually get a big chance out of it.  About 40% of Rangers' attacks come down their right side so Serrano is going to need to deal with a lot if he does play there. Obviously when we have Brown in there things just tighten up massively but he's apparently better on Cardiff's u23 teamsheet....?

I'd stick Efe in the middle of Fitzwater and Guthrie and give him a bit of support. With those 3 I'd say we've got a solid chance of being dominant all day in the air, it's just the space inside the wings and balls through the defence that'd worry me as all 3 aren't the fastest - which is probably where Devlin provides vital cover over someone like McMillan and ATS. 

I really don't think much matters about how we line up outside of the defence as we're very unlikely to get many chances. I'd like Holt to be dropped though and bring in Sibbald and let Bartley get back to doing what he does best in breaking up the play and making it a battle. Sibbald is more than well equipped to join that fight and contribute whilst bringing his playmaking to the table.

The only issue I have with Kabia is that he's played 123 minutes of football over 5 games. 25 minutes a game coming on against tired legs is fine, but I'd imagine a fit and faster team could very easily just manage him out of games. I'd very much like to see how Mullin handles a central role as he's another with a great eye for a pass. 

Robinson does a lot of hard work, wins a lot of second balls and generally does well in a system that plays to his weaknesses. He's playing as a 5'6 target man dealing with long balls, it's dire. We only actually find a man with 60% of our passes, in large part due to the long balls to a small striker but we need to make the passes count when we get the chance to.

I'm going to contradict myself a bit but in my head it makes sense. We have a striker who has played 56 minutes all season for us who's fairly well known for being great in the air and winning a high % of his aerial battles. A lot of that is at a lower level obviously but I'd like to see us take a gamble and give Kouider-Aissa a chance in a game like this. He's not much taller at 5'9 but it's going to give him a better chance than Robinson, even playing Robinson off of him to fight for second balls is surely better than isolating Robbo up front on his own. 

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6 hours ago, ATLIS said:

We've still got a game on Wednesday against Accies before we get to this one so might go into it with a win still

This game's on Wednesday, the Accies game is a week on Saturday (we have Motherwell this weekend).

Edited by LiviLion

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1 hour ago, LiviLion said:

This game's on Wednesday, the Accies game is a week on Saturday (we have Motherwell this weekend).

Yeah I'd got myself confused completely. Had assumed this was a Sunday game somehow

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9 hours ago, ATLIS said:

Yeah I'd got myself confused completely. Had assumed this was a Sunday game somehow

Tbf I got it wrong before my edit as well :lol:

 

Not sure what kind of reaction we'll get for this game. Avoiding a pumping is the priority, a decent performance should be enough to have a tiny bit of confidence going into the last 3.

Have a feeling we'll switch to a back 3 for this.

Stryjek; Ambrose, Guthrie, Fitzwater; Serrano, Sibbald, Bartley, Devlin; Pittman, Mullin; Robinson

 

Assuming none of those are injured or suspended, something I haven't bothered to check. 

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Balogun was described this morning as a "major doubt" so assuming he's out.

McGregor, Patterson, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Davis, Kamara, Aribo, Kent, Hagi, Morelos.

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1 hour ago, G51 said:

Balogun was described this morning as a "major doubt" so assuming he's out.

McGregor, Patterson, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Davis, Kamara, Aribo, Kent, Hagi, Morelos.

Looks like a good team to me. 

A tricky place to go to at all times but hopefully Livi's dip in form opens the door for us here. 3 points and I'm taking Monday off.

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A huge opportunity for Patterson then after his Rangers career looked in doubt, unless the SFA bans him before the game.  

 

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Usually it’s a difficult game at Livi but this surely has to be a good time to play them?

Their form has dipped recently and they’ll be hugely disappointed at losing in the final the other day.

0-3

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Sevco were scraping results by 1-0 wins and drawing 1-1 with a pish Motherwell team and struggling Accies, but they've stuck 13 goals past Utd and Antwerp (conceding a few too right enough) so looks like they've found they're touch in front of goals again. As for the pitch banter, grass pitches are tattie fields just now so ours will be like playing on a summer's day bowling green in comparison.

As the old saying goes, nothing to lose here, a game nobody expects us to get anything, may need a few changes bringing in fresh legs, fuckknows what Poplatnik has been like in training but i'd give him a start here and have Robbo on the bench for late on, give Forrest a run at it too. Maybe even have McMillan on as LB/LWB.

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Feels like in the past month we’ve completely changed from trying to win every game, to trying not to lose. Just feels negative. I’d like to see us have a go here, start Kabia, and Sibbald back in for one of Holt or Bartley.

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Livi to change half the team so that the whole squad is tired before Fir Park.

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7 minutes ago, ropy said:

Livi to change half the team so that the whole squad is tired before Fir Park.

We'd still have a few fresh players left, got about 30 players in our squad.            

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