Rangers will be going into this season’s winter break on a massive high after last Sunday’s Old Firm win over Celtic. 

Steven Gerrard’s men will know that the momentum has definitely shifted in the title race now, with the gap between them and the Hoops at just two points, and the Gers having a crucial game in hand.

As a result, you would expect their upcoming trip to Dubai to be a well-spirited affair, with the lads being put through their paces in glorious sunshine, as opposed to the gloom of a Glaswegian January.

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But while this may be a trip abroad during a period of no competitive action, it will hardly be a holiday.

It was announced on Thursday, by the club themselves, that the Gers will face off against Uzbekistan high-flyers Lokomotiv Tashkent next Saturday afternoon.

The two sides have never played each other before, and the friendly will be used as a means of keeping fitness levels up as Gerrard prepares his side for a crucial second half of the season back in Scotland.

For their part, Tashkent are three times consecutive domestic champions and holders of the Uzbekistan Super Cup, as well as being regular participants in the AFC Champions League.

Speaking about the game, Gerrard said: “The match will be an important part of our preparations for the second half of the season and we expect it to be a competitive friendly and good test for our squad.”

And you’d expect the manager to be spot on about this too.

After all, any side that have won their domestic title three times in a row are a force to be reckoned with.

The best the Gers can hope for from a match like this is competition without the risk of injury, and you would hope that this friendly will provide just that.

In other news, Jackie McNamara defends Rangers man over ‘difficult’ Old Firm situation.

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