St Johnstone v Rangers – Friday preview


BBC coverage

How to follow:
Listen on BBC Radio Scotland; text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Kenny Miller (left) scored in Rangers’ 2-1 win on their last visit to Perth in May

St Johnstone will be without on-loan winger Michael O’Halloran, who is unable to play against his parent club.

O’Halloran has also had an ankle injury, while Richard Foster begins a two-match suspension, but Blair Alston could return after two months out.

Kenny Miller could return for Rangers after talks with boss Pedro Caixinha.

Defenders Bruno Alves and Danny Wilson are fit, Niko Kranjcar is also back, but Jordan Rossiter and Lee Wallace remain out and Ryan Jack is suspended.

Match stats:

  • St Johnstone have beaten Rangers just three times in the Scottish Premiership from 28 attempts (D5 L20). Their last victory came at McDiarmid Park in March 2010 (4-1).
  • Each of St Johnstone’s three league victories against Rangers have come away from home at Ibrox.
  • St Johnstone have won five of their last seven at McDiarmid Park (D1 L1).
  • After losing three in succession, Rangers are now unbeaten in their last nine away games (W6 D3), despite keeping only two clean sheets.
  • Rangers’ Graham Dorrans has scored or assisted four of Rangers’ last five league goals.

Pre-match views:

St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson: “We were well short against Aberdeen, we knew that right after the game.

“We didn’t do well enough in a lot of areas. It’s been a long couple of weeks after a defeat and the international break.

“We’ve got a chance to put it right on Friday, to go and get a positive result.

“What better way is there to bounce back than getting a result against Rangers? We know we’re capable. If we learn the lessons from Pittodrie, we’ll be OK.”

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha: “We need to get back to the basics of defending. That’s what we have been focused on. The boys did great the previous week when we trained much more intensively.

“This week we have focused on the principles of what we want and expect from the game. What we expect is: don’t let the opponent play their own game, and we want to play our game.

“After these couple of weeks, I think we are much more solid as a team if we defend better and concede less goals, because the difference of the goals scored is almost nothing from the teams that are leading the league.

“We want to keep going in attack but we want to improve defending, so that’s what we have been working on these two weeks.”

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