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Rangers’ season suffered a damaging early blow as they suffered defeat away at Malmo in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier on Tuesday. A late goal from Steven Davis keeps their hopes alive, but they should get back to winning ways on the domestic front.
The Gers kicked off their league campaign with a convincing 3-0 win over Livingston, as they remain unbeaten since the start of last season having won 33 of 39 games over this period.
Four of those six exceptions came against teams that finished in the top half last term, while all but one of them came against teams that finished above Dundee Utd.
Summer appointment Thomas Courts has kicked off his tenure with victories in the League Cup over Kelty Hearts, Elgin City, Arbroath and East Fife, though did came up short when facing top-flight opposition as his side fell to a 2-0 defeat away at Aberdeen last weekend.
That result is a much better indication of how they’ll fare here, with his side utterly dominated as they attempted to frustrate with a defensive gameplan, with little deviation to the approach even after falling behind.
Rangers To Win To Nil
Rangers won all three head to heads last term, netting 10 goals and conceding twice. Although they only managed a clean sheet in one of those encounters, Dundee Utd rarely troubled Aberdeen’s backline in their opener and Rangers’ defensive record last season overall was immense.
Indeed, the 13 goals they conceded last term was a league record, beating the 17 managed by Celtic in 2014/15.
Dundee Utd managed 10 victories last term, but only two came against sides that finished in the top half of the table.
Up against the top three last season, they lost seven of nine winless encounters and scored just three goals, including just one strike in five matches on home turf.
Steven Gerrard had a number of absentees midweek through a combination of injury, suspension and quarantine. However, Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo, Ianis Hagi and Kemar Roofe could all return here having missed out, though Alfredo Morelos remains unavailable at present.
With a strengthened side, Rangers should have little difficulty seeing off Dundee Utd, who we’d expect to try and stifle their visitors for as long as possible but to little avail.
Still, Rangers only won by more than a single strike in seven of their 19 away games last term, and in just one of eight since the turn of the year, so we wouldn’t expect them to run riot as they might at Ibrox. With that in mind, the win to nil looks a better prospect than the handicap as a way of getting the visitors onside.