PREVIEW: ST. JOHNSTONE - RANGERS
Thursday, February 18, 2010
It will be a quick turnaround for DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers who travel north to Perth on Saturday to take on St. Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.
After starting in last week's home win over Hibernian, Beasley will likely get another nod from head coach Walter Smith to start up front for the Light Blues.
The Indiana native played only the first half in the victory over Hibs which was his first match back since suffering a thigh injury back in late December.
Beasley also appeared in a midweek match with the club's reserve squad where he played the first 70 minutes and scored a goal.
Compatriot Maurice Edu is coming off a fine effort in Rangers' Scottish Cup victory on Wednesday versus St. Mirren and will likely start on the bench on Saturday.
The Glasgow club enjoys a comfortable 10 point with just 13 matches left in the Scottish Premier League season.
Star striker Kris Boyd has been showing his class since returning from a hernia operation by bagging goals in his last two games including Wednesday's gamewinner versus the Saints.
Rangers' last visit to Perth back on October 17th proved to be a much tougher affair than anticipated. The newly promoted club pushed the defending SPL champions to the brink and only an 83rd Sasa Papac goal assured the victory for the Light Blues.
While the news on the field for Rangers has been positive, the headlines off the field leave a little to be desired as the club released financial reports this week revealing they are millions of British pounds in debt.
This development placed an even greater importance on winning this year's SPL to then qualify for the Champions League group stage which would help generate revenue in order to offset the money owed.
St. Johnstone are riding high after their stunning 5-1 victory over third place Hibs in midweek. The lopsided win will surely give Derek McIness' squad even more confidence when they sqaure off against the league leaders.
Spanish midfielder Nacho Novo may be the only absence for Smith on Saturday while the Saints will be missing Filipe Morais, Peter MacDonald, Stuart McCaffrey, Martin Hardie and captain Kevin Rutkiewicz.