MATCH PREVIEW: RANGERS VERSUS SAINTS

PHOTO: Steven Anderson, Michael O'Halloran and Murray Davidson are put through their paces on Monday morning.

Taking a brief respite from their league campaign, St. Johnstone will turn their attention towards the League Cup tomorrow night (Tuesday 22nd September, 7.15pm kick-off at Ibrox). In a twist of fate, Saints will be facing the same opponents who knocked them out of the competition last season.

After a turbulent few years behind the scenes, Rangers fans won't be complaining about current on-the-pitch events. Mark Warburton has reinvigorated a Rangers side which missed out on promotion last season after a 6-1 aggregate defeat against Motherwell in the play-off final. They currently sit in pole position of the Scottish Championship, already building up a comfortable gap over their nearest rivals. With 7 wins from their first 7 league matches, the Gers are 6 points ahead of 2nd-placed Falkirk (although the Bairns have a game-in-hand). They have conceded only 4 times and they have scored 24 goals in total.

Mark Warburton has had a busy transfer window, making numerous additions to the squad and getting rid of an even greater amount of players. Wes Foderingham, Danny Wilson, Rob Kiernan, Jordan Thompson, Andy Halliday, Martyn Waghorn, James Tavernier and Jason Holt have all arrived at Ibrox on permanent deals. Nathan Oduwa, Dominic Ball and Gedion Zelalem have also joined on loan until the end of the season.

Rangers possess a number of attacking threats. New recruit Martyn Waghorn is top scorer in the Scottish Championship with 8 goals so far. Full-back James Tavernier is also very capable of providing goals, particularly from set-pieces. A 5-0 Second Round victory away to Airdrieonians set up this intriguing clash against St. Johnstone.

Saints currently sit in 7th place of the Scottish Premiership after a somewhat inconsistent start to the season. They have scored in every league match, yet they are also failing to keep clean sheets. However, St. Johnstone fans will be expecting their team to provide Rangers with a stern test tomorrow night.

Saints and Rangers have only met on one occasion since the beginning of the Ibrox club's gradual rise through the leagues, and this was in the quarter-finals of the League Cup last season. The Perth side will be hoping, at least, to reach that stage of the competition once again by taking revenge on Rangers and showing what they are really capable of. Last year, a late Lewis Macleod header ensured that St. Johnstone were knocked out of the cup with nothing more than a whimper. Tomorrow night, Tommy Wright's men will look to use their top-flight experience in order to emerge victorious from this important cup clash.

match preview by Ollie Wale

Tickets for the League Cup Third Round tie against Rangers at Ibrox Stadium on Tuesday 22nd September (kick off 7.15pm) remain on sale and can be bought from the Ticket Office at McDiarmid Park on Tuesday between 9.30am-5pm.

Prices are as follows:

Adults - £18 Over 65s - £12 16 and 17 year olds - £12 Under 16s - £5

For more information please call 01738 455000