Glasgow Rangers will be looking to win three Premiership matches in a row this afternoon as Dundee are the visitors to Ibrox.
Philippe Clement’s men won 1-0 in midweek over Hearts, yet if it were not for some wasteful finishing, they could have easily scored more.
Tom Lawrence had to come off injured against the Jambos, however, and this was the only blemish on a productive evening.
The lack of central midfielders who are fit is worrying and Clement may need to go back to the drawing board.
Rangers team news vs Dundee
The Belgian confirmed that Borna Barisic and Lawrence are both suffering from muscle injuries and they will both be monitored, meaning they could both miss the tie against Dundee if they do not recover in time.
Nicolas Raskin is also missing after his recovery is not going as smoothly as anticipated, while Scott Wright continues to be absent.
Ryan Jack has missed the previous few matches with an injury and the weekend clash against the Dens Park outfit could come too quick for him to make a return.
John Lundstram is fit and healthy, and he could be deployed in the engine room, while the 49-year-old can soften the Lawrence blow by unleashing Jose Cifuentes alongside him.
Jose Cifuentes’ season in numbers
It is safe to say the £16k-per-week midfielder has not quite hit the heights expected of him since he made the move to the Light Blues during the summer.
During the embryonic stages of his career, he was praised by journalist Tim Vickery following his displays for Ecuador at the U20 World Cup in 2019, who said: “He was the beating heart of that side and I think he’s a terrific midfielder. He’s strong, he’s got quality, he’s got a good engine – he’s one of the best all-round midfielders, potentially, that I’ve seen come out of South America in a while.”
Across 18 appearances so far this season, however, he has grabbed just one assist and the midfielder needs to be showing more.
The 24-year-old has managed 1.1 shots per game, although he has yet to score for the club, while the Ecuadorian has created two big chances and has an 88% pass success rate, proving that he is showing some signs of his talents.
Although coming into the game as a substitute after Lawrence was taken off in midweek, Cifuentes finished the game with the most pressures (31), counter pressures (seven), and tackles and interceptions (seven) across everyone on the field of play and perhaps there is hope yet that he can become a key member of the team.
These statistics show that he has the engine and dive to put pressure on the opposition in order to win possession back quickly for his side, which can then provide the attackers with more opportunities to work their magic in the final third.
Rangers’ 6/10 star who lost possession 11x was as good as Sima vs Hearts
Rangers secured a vital three points against Hearts
To do this, however, he will need a consistent run in the starting XI and this means dropping Jack to the bench. The Scot has been solid when carrying out his duties for the Gers this season, yet his constant injury issues may mean he could have to rely on making appearances from the bench when he is fit.
Cifuentes can cement his place in the centre of midfield against Dundee today, and he should take confidence from his midweek performance.