The Liverpool legend missed out on a first senior final as a manager as a late header from Lewis Ferguson – son of Gers legend Derek – propelled Aberdeen to a 1-0 victory at Hampden.
And now Gerrard’s thoughts must turn back to the league, a competition in which his side are not excelling. Fifth after nine matches and eight points behind leaders Hearts, they have, at least, the distinction of being the division’s most prolific club.
Kilmarnock, meanwhile, are nowhere near as spectacular, but under the shrewd guidance of former WBA boss Steve Clarke have worked their way to second in the division, albeit having played a game more than the chasing pack.
After drawing 1-1 against lowly Hamilton on Saturday, though, they need a response.
|Game||Rangers vs Kilmarnock|
|Date||Wednesday, October 31|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 3:45pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game will not be broadcast live.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||McGregor, Foderingham, Alnwick|
|Defenders||Tavernier, Goldson, Hodson, Flanagan, Ross McCrorie, Katic, Bradley, Wallace|
|Midfielders||Dorrans, Jack, Ejaria, Halliday, Coulibaly, Kent, Arfield, Kelly, Rossiter|
|Forwards||Grezda, Murphy, Sadiq, Morelos, Candeias, Rudden, Middleton, Lafferty|
Gerrard is set to have to cope without a number of potential regulars in his side, including young Croatian left-back Borna Barisic. Lee Wallace remains a long-term absentee in that area of the field.
Meanwhile, Scotland midfielder Jamie Murphy and Graham Dorrans are both sidelined.
Rangers will be boosted, however, by the return of joint-top scorer Alfredo Morelos after a ban prevented him from playing at the weekend.
Otherwise, on-loan Liverpool winger Ryan Kent is likely to be a player to watch for, having been in strong form lately.
Possible Rangers XI: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Worrall, Flanagan; Coulibaly, Arfield, Jack; Candeias, Morelos, Kent
|Goalkeepers||MacDonald, Bachmann, Mackay|
|Defenders||Findlay, Broadfoot, Boyd, Taylor, Waters, O'Donnell, Millen|
|Midfielders||Wilson, Tshibola, Byrne, Dicker, Power, Burke, Jones|
|Forwards||Kiltie, Ndjoli, McKenzie, Stewart, Enobakhare, Brophy, Boyd|
Kilmarnock have a strong squad open to them ahead of the trip to Ibrox. There are, however, doubts over the availability of former Rangers man Kirk Broadfoot. He has been suffering from back trouble.
Rapid winger Jordan Jones made his return from a ban at the weekend, while Rory McKenzie was able to shake off injury to return.
Possible Kilmarnock XI: MacDonald; O’Donnell, Broadfoot, Findlay, Taylor; McKenzie, Tshibola, Power, Jones; Brophy, Stewart
Betting & Match Odds
Rangers are 4/9 to bounce back from their weekend disappointment with a win according to bet365 . Kilmarnock are priced at 6/1, while a draw is 10/3.
Weekend defeat to Aberdeen has not shaken the belief that Gerrard has in his team achieving their goals this season.
While the manager shouldered some of the blame for the 1-0 Hampden loss, he urged his players to “step up” and show what they are capable of in the aftermath of the defeat.
Indeed, with just a couple of months looming until the January transfer window, the Liverpool legend has warned that changes will be made in the winter if the team’s form does not improve.
“I pick the XI, I brought in 14 players. It's a disappointed dressing room but I'm here to take responsibility - my players, my tactics, my gameplan. If there are any fingers to be pointed let them point at me,” he said.
“We got into some good positions and either made the wrong decision or showed a serious lack of quality. If these players don't step up, it's simple at a big club: the manager goes and finds better quality.”
Among those to be most criticised was on-loan Roma forward Umar Sadiq, who was booked for diving when it seemed he had an empty net to roll an equaliser into. With Alfredo Morelos back in the reckoning, he will surely be benched as Rangers look to find a path to goal after being shut out against the Dons and versus Spartak Moscow in a 0-0 Europa League draw – another game the Glasgow club bossed.
If Rangers are still fighting to match expectations domestically this season, there is little question that Kilmarnock are exceeding theirs.
Clarke took them on little over a year ago when they were seemingly a basket case at the foot of the table but now has them second in the Premiership. He has specialised in frustrating the Ibrox side, taking seven points off them last season, although when they met earlier this term, it was Rangers who came out on top 3-1, with Morelos netting a treble.
A repeat of that August outcome would do quite nicely for Gerrard, who could soon find the pressure mounting if the club’s league position does not improve.