Livingston welcome the mighty Rangers to West Lothian on Sunday afternoon, looking to bring an end to their run of three consecutive defeats in all competitions. Steven Gerrard’s Rangers team are also looking for a return to form, having lost in the Scottish Premiership in midweek at title rivals Kilmarnock.
On paper, this should be a more straightforward game for the Light Blues, given that Livi are without a win in five games in all competitions. Livi’s last win was against Heart of Midlothian back in mid-December, when they won 5-0 at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Rangers will be desperate to win this game, and keep up the pressure on table-topping Celtic, as well as try and overhaul second-placed Kilmarnock in the Premiership table.
Livingston vs Rangers Prediction: Livi 0-1 Rangers
Our prediction for this game is that Rangers will have to fight hard for a 1-0 win. Livi have surprised some observers this season with the way they have adjusted to life in the Premier League after being promoted last season. Since Gary Holt took over as manager from Kenny Miller in August, Livi have been much solid, as their total of 30 points from 22 games testifies. They should surely be able to avoid relegation now.
Rangers will be hurting after their Killie defeat last week, though, and we suspect that they will be just too strong for the West Lothian outfit on Sunday.
Predict the scoreline.
Our recommended tip: Rangers 1-0
Our featured tip comes from Irish bookie Paddy Power, who are offering 5/1 on Rangers winning this game 1-0. We have predicted that the game will end this way, and odds of 5/1 suggest that the bookies broadly agree with us. These odds also offer a pretty decent return for this scoreline. Rangers are unlikely to be able to cut loose and hammer Livi, given that the Lothian side beat them 1-0 at the Tony Macaroni Arena earlier this season.
These two sides have met on two previous occasions in 2018/19, both of them in the Scottish Premiership. The first encounter was at the Tony Macaroni Arena on September 30. The home side sent the Gers back to Glasgow defeated, having taken the three points with the game’s solitary goal, scored by Dolly Menga in the game’s 34th minute.
In the second game, at Ibrox on November 24, Rangers were the winners. The game ended 3-0, with the Gers goals being scored by Daniel Candeias, Alfredo Morelos and Scott Arfield. The second and third goals were scored in the last 10 minutes of the game.
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Players to watch: Ryan Hardie & Jermain Defoe
Livi striker Ryan Hardie is a good man to keep an eye on in this game. The striker is his club’s top scorer in 2018/19, having netted five goals in eight appearances in the Scottish Premiership – . the best goals-to-game ratio of any Premiership player. He is on loan from Rangers, and just signed a new deal with the Ibrox club, before being sent back to Livi on loan for the rest of the season.
Former England international striker Jermain Defoe is one reason that Hardie went back to Livi on loan. The Gers signed the 36-year-old veteran on loan from Premier League Bournemouth earlier this month, and the Englishman scored on his debut against Kilmarnock in midweek. The forward has enjoyed a fine career at the highest level, but is still lacking a touch of match fitness. An opportunist who is deadly in the opposition penalty area, Livi will need to watch him carefully.