While their great rivals have their eye on the European ball, Rangers can focus on domestic matters, and though they have a Scottish Cup replay against Kilmarnock to come in midweek, Steven Gerrard’s priority will be three points as they chase a fourth league win in succession.
The Perth Saints, meanwhile, have lost their last five, having suffered three of those at the hands of Celtic.
|Game||Rangers vs St Johnstone|
|Date||Saturday, February 16|
|Time||3:00pm GMT / 10:00am ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched via Rangers TV.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the UK, the game will not be available to watch on TV or to stream live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Defenders||Tavernier, Flanagan, McCrorie, Katic, Barisic, Worrall, McAuley, Goldson, Polster|
|Midfielders||Jack, Halliday, Coulibaly, Arfield, Davis, Kamara|
|Forwards||Candeias, Lafferty, Middleton, Defoe, Kent|
Rangers will be without Allan McGregor after his appeal against a two-match suspension was dismissed. Wes Fodderingham will get the nod, with January signing from Barrow, Andy Firth, on the bench.
Bigger problems come in attack, where Alfredo Morelos is banned for three games, while injury doubts linger over Jermain Defoe and Kyle Lafferty. Dapo Mebude has been recalled from Scotland Under-19 duty and is liable to find himself on the bench.
Jamie Murphy, Graham Dorrans and Eros Grezda are all out, while Glen Kamara and Matt Polster are probably missing.
Possible Rangers starting XI: Foderingham; Tavernier, Worrall, Goldson, Barisic; Arfield, McCrorie, Jack; Candeias, Kent, Middleton
|Position||St Johnstone squad|
|Goalkeepers||Clark, Bell, Hurst|
|Defenders||Shaughnessy, Kerr, Gordon, Tanser, Easton, Foster, Comrie, Keown|
|Midfielders||Davidson, Goss, Callachan, McCann, Wotherspoon, Alston, Craig, Swanson|
|Forwards||O'Halloran, Kennedy, Watt, Kane, Henry|
On-loan QPR midfielder Sean Goss is set to shake off a knock and feature from the outset, but fellow midfielder Drey Wright is sidelined.
Former Rangers attacker Michael O’Halloran is in line to start against his former club, while Ricky Foster will seek to celebrate his one-year contract extension with a fine performance at Ibrox.
Possible St Johnstone starting XI: Clark; Foster, Kerr, Shaughnessy, Tanser; Wotherspoon, Goss, Davidson, Craig, Kennedy; O’Halloran.
Betting & Match Odds
Rangers are 1/3 favourites to come out on to with Bet365. St Johnstone can be backed at 7/1, while 17/4 is the price for a draw.
Rangers were left frustrated by their 0-0 Scottish Cup draw against Kilmarnock last weekend. It brought to an end a fine four-match winning run that propelled them to second in the Scottish Premiership table and has left them as the only viable suitors to Celtic’s crown.
Despite the disappointment of the draw, Steven Gerrard offered his players some time off training this week after a hectic start to the year and he will hope to reap the rewards at Ibrox.
“We have had a run of games quite close together so it was good to be able to give the players some time off, more for mental reasons just to switch off for a few days,” he said,
“The plan was to have a couple of days off after St Johnstone and then the replay ruined that for them so I brought it forward to this week.
“We changed the schedule for them really and then we have three days to prepare for St Johnstone so hopefully they go into the game really fresh.”
Despite his side’s inability to win last weekend, he drew one particular plus from the performance.
“Defensively there were a lot of positives from Saturday and there were a few individuals who stood out within it so we will take that,” he said.
Against a St Johnstone outfit that failed to score in any of their three recent tussles with Celtic, Gerrard will expect a similar level of quality.
Indeed, the Hoops blew the Perth side’s Scottish Cup hopes to smithereens last weekend as they ran out 5-0 winners, conceding twice in the first 10 minutes.
“Celtic had every player on it, and we lose because we don't start the game well,” manager Tommy Wright lamented. “We'll learn from it, the key thing is that we don't let three defeats from Celtic in a short space of time affect our season.”
Saints face another immense task on Saturday in another encounter they will start as heavy underdogs.