Next up - Rangers

29 March 2012 10:59
Motherwell collapsed to a miserable defeat at Kilmarnock last week and will look to bounce back against Rangers at Fir Park. But with our recent record against them, is it even worth turning up?

 Logically, we have little chance of winning. Despite being in administration, the eleven Rangers will field will be stronger than ours and we have missed plenty of chances to defeat them in the ten years that have passed since Boxing Day 2002.  However, when looking back to the team that day (and the Rangers team, for that matter) it is incredulous to believe players like Willie Kinniburgh and David Cowan recorded a win over the side that would win the treble.  With a high work-rate, a lot of luck and one moment of inspiration, anything is possible.

The work-rate will certainly be there.  Luck is possible and certainly high effort will increase our chances of getting a break but it can't be relied upon.  It is the inspiration that may cost us – Ojamaa has been nowhere near his best since the Dunfermline game, Law remains wildly inconsistent and Higdon relies on getting service which simply hasn't been there recently.  Humphrey has been lively when given a chance in the last weeks but if Rangers play the same formation as last weekend, would you back him against both Wallace and Papac on the left hand side?  Doubtful.

That brings us nicely to the question of what formation we should use. Changing from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 arguably saved our season in January but switching back deserves serious consideration now.  Rangers will probably play just one real striker and regardless of whether they play 4-5-1 or 5-4-1, they will have a massive presence in the centre of the park.  If we bring Law into the centre – or even keep Carswell there – alongside Lasley and Jennings we will be able to match up while hoping Humphrey, Daley, Murphy or Ojamaa can keep their full backs at bay and allow our own backs to push up to support the midfield.

But for all Stuart McCall will consider his tactical approach, regardless of what team and formation he uses we will win only if every player performs to their very best.  We can hope to show a reaction from our loss last week and Rangers, surely, will not be as up for this game as they were for taking on Celtic.  It is still stretching logic to think we can win but some games just require blind faith – this is one of them and let's hope we can cheer the boys on to a famous 2-1 victory.

Remember the last visit from Rangers?