Kris Boyd predicts Rangers will win against Aberdeen at Ibrox on Sunday but has warned his former club over suffering a post-international break “hiccup”.
It is a massive weekend at the top of the Scottish Premiership as second-placed Celtic play away against fourth-placed Hibernian on Saturday before the Gers welcome Aberdeen to Ibrox on Sunday.
Steven Gerrard’s side could move 12 points clear at the top of the table if results go their way and Boyd does believe the Light Blues stand a chance of doing that by tipping them to beat Aberdeen.
Derek McInnes faces a bit of a selection headache ahead of his side’s trip to Glasgow with five players ruled out of the match, including Ross McCrorie, who’s on loan at Pittodrie from Rangers.
Although Boyd reckons the Dons will find it tough to win at Ibrox even if they did have McCrorie, he claims it’s a big blow for McInnes to not have the Gers loanee available.
“I fancy Rangers to win this one,” said Boyd, as quoted on the Sky Sports website. “McCrorie not being able to play is a massive loss for Aberdeen, he’s been brilliant for them, but him not playing is going to have a massive impact. Aberdeen will always make it difficult but let’s not get away from it, it’s first against third and it is the big game of the weekend.
“To play for Rangers, you have to be super fit and willing to run with and without the ball and cause players problems. That’s one thing that Rangers will continue to do, whether it’s in the wide areas or with [Scott] Arfield and [Joe] Aribo in the middle of the pitch, they’ve got so many options now going forward and defensively, they look sound enough.
“It’s going to take a big performance to stop Rangers with the way they’re playing at this moment in time but we’ve been here before, coming off the back of an international break that there can usually be some hiccups. Steven Gerrard will have to get his squad focused on the match, they know how important it is but Rangers will be confident going into this because of the last few performances.”
McCrorie will sign a three-year contract with Aberdeen next year but for now, he is effectively still a Rangers player as he’s only on loan at Pittodrie until that deal becomes permanent.
The 22-year-old Ibrox academy product has made 14 appearances in all competitions since joining the Dons in the summer, playing as both a defensive midfielder and a centre-back in McInnes’ side.
According to stats by WyScout, McCrorie has completed 82.4 per cent of his passes since joining Aberdeen while also winning 54.5 per cent of aerial duels.
He’s also averaged 3.8 interceptions and 8.07 recoveries per 90 minutes of action for the Granite City club.
His numbers don’t really blow us away but Boyd is clearly impressed by what he’s seen from the Scotland Under-21 international enough to suggest he’ll be a loss for Aberdeen this weekend at Ibrox.
In other Rangers news, Alan Rough has made a claim about Gers and Celtic fans ahead of a big weekend of action.