Rangers avoided a potential banana skin on the opening day of the new league season at Aberdeen, though their 1-0 scoreline was actually fairly comfortable as they netted after 21 minutes and nullified their opponents attack throughout.
Alfredo Morelos didn’t look like getting back into form and may have his head turned towards Lille, but the Dons didn’t offer much going forwards at all and Rangers can probably expect more of the same here, albeit against weaker opposition.
St. Mirren scored just 24 times last season, easily making them the division’s lowest scorers, though the 41 they conceded at the other end left them with the joint-best defence amongst the bottom half of the table.
Even manager Jim Goodwin admitted their 1-0 win over Livingston on the opening day “wasn’t pretty”, but emphasised the importance of a clean sheet. Despite the goalkeeper and three out of four defenders receiving their debuts, they appeared comfortable and well organized, especially in aerial contests, with Joe Shaughnessy at centre-back particularly outstanding.
Rangers To Win To Nil
A clean sheet at home to Livingston is one thing, but visiting Ibrox is a far more daunting prospect and Rangers have won 25 of 33 league games here under Steven Gerrard so far – including 15 of the last 18.
However, it’s worth noting that they’ve never scored more than twice in the last seven of these, including three 1-0 wins and another 2-0 victory, with one of those two scorelines appearing likely to repeat in this clash.
Rangers have won to nil in four of five games facing St. Mirren since the latter returned to the Premiership. Gerrard’s first season saw a pair of 2-0 victories and another that ended 4-0, but both encounters last season since Goodwin arrived at St. Mirren finished 1-0.
Rangers To Win And Under 2.5 Goals
The visitors were the worst travellers last season, picking up just eight points from 15 trips as they lost 11 times. We certainly expect them to succumb to defeat here, but only twice in those 15 games did they concede more than two goals, with one of those occasions coming against Celtic.
The win to nil looks a very solid option here, especially with Rangers beating the likes of Lyon, Nice and Coventry 2-0, as well as Motherwell 4-0 in recent friendlies. However, Rangers have typically made a habit of fading in the second half, so once they get a goal or two ahead, we’d expect them to control the game and save energy for upcoming fixtures.
That’s especially true should they suffer any injuries midweek against Leverkusen, so Rangers & Under 2.5 Goals also appears profitable.