Rangers will be looking to progress in the Scottish Cup, despite losing to Kilmarnock 2-1 in the league.
Kilmarnock v Rangers
Saturday 9th February, 17:15
Killie will hope to copy league form
With only one loss in six games, Steve Clarke will hope that his Kilmarnock side can build upon their impressive league form and build a successful cup run. Kilmarnock have already shown that they are capable of dealing with Rangers having beat them at the turn of the year in January.
Killie have turned Rugby Park into a fortress this season with the side picking up an impressive eight wins from twelve home games, only losing three times and drawing once. Their home form is only bettered by the two Old Firm teams in the table. Recently however, their six game unbeaten run at home was halted by Hearts in their last match at Rugby Park. Although being solid in front of home supporters, Killie have only picked up clean sheets from 25% of their home games. Killie’s success at home comes from scoring on average just under two goals per game (1.82) and reducing their opposition to under a goal per game (0.92).
In terms of goals per Kilmarnock game, in the last six matches four games have ended with over 2.5 goals being scored and five have ended with over 1.5 goals being scored. In Kilmarnock’s home matches, in the last six matches, an average of two goals per game have been scored per game (2.00), with both teams scoring in four out of six home games.
Rangers will look for revenge at Rugby Park
Rangers’ return to league football in 2019 after the Winter break, was met with a disappointing defeat to Kilmarnock. Since the display against Celtic in December before the Winter break left the side feeling positive about their title prospects. However they were brought back down to Earth with a 2-1 defeat at Rugby Park. Since then Gerrard’s side have been on a four game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Since the defeat to Kilmarnock in the league at the beginning of January, Rangers have been very much amongst the goals, as the side have netted fourteen goals in the four games. Whilst playing away from home, Rangers have scored twenty-three goals in thirteen matches, averaging nearly two goals per game (1.77). A major drawback in the league as a whole, is that on average they have conceded at least a goal per away game (1.08). As a result they have dropped twelve points whilst playing away from home through losses and draws. It seems that Gerrard is still to remedy this stat as, his side have conceded three goals in the last three away games.
Goals are likely to be a feature of this game, as Rangers games on average this season have produced at least three goals per game (3.00), with Rangers contributing to at least two of those goals (2.20). Although they always have the vulnerability to conceding goals as 52% of Rangers matches have ended with both teams scoring. Both teams have scored in three of Rangers’ last six games, the percentage increases when Rangers play away from home as both teams have scored in 62% of Rangers’ away games.
Goldson will struggle to feature
Rangers could be without Connor Goldson for the clash with Kilmarnock as the defender picked up a knock against Aberdeen, after being rushed through his recovery so he could feature at Pittodrie for Rangers. Also Rangers may be without Alfredo Morelos through suspension as his appeal over his red card will be heard on Friday 8th of February, Morelos picked up a red for violent conduct on Wednesday’s game with Aberdeen.
Kilmarnock face no new injury concerns going into the game with Rangers.
Rangers are slight favourites, however
Going into the game at Rugby Park, Rangers are slight favourites. The away side have been given odds of 17/20 to win, whereas the hosts have been given odds of 16/5 to win.
Although the bookies suggest a Rangers win is on the cards, you have to be mindful of Kilmarnock’s home record and the fact the side beat Rangers recently in the league. So there is always potential for a Killie upset in this one. Kilmarnock to win or draw is priced at 10/11 and would offer cover for a shock result to occur.
Another valuable market for this one is the both teams to score market. Given the high goal averages both teams possess it is feasible that both teams can get on the scoresheet but neither team is strong enough to insure they would concede no goals. For both teams to score, bookies offer odds of 4/6. The goal averages for both sides give credence to a bet made in the goal markets. For over 2.5 goals to be scored in the game, the bookies offer 8/11.
Kilmarnock win or draw (10/11)
Both teams to score (4/6)