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Apr 18, 2015 at 3pm UK
Dumbarton
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RangersRangers
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FT(HT: 1-1)
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Preview: Dumbarton vs. Rangers

:Headline: Preview: Dumbarton vs. Rangers:
Sports Mole previews the Scottish Championship match between mid-table Dumbarton and playoff-bound Rangers at the Bet Butler Stadium.
By , Reporter | 4y

Rangers will be looking to keep hold of second place in the Scottish Championship when they travel to Dumbarton in Scotland's second tier this weekend.

The Glasgow side are already assured of a place in the playoffs as they push for promotion to the Premiership, while Dumbarton are playing for pride, unable to make the playoffs or be relegated this season.



Dumbarton

Dumbarton know that they will be playing in the Scottish Championship again next season regardless of the outcome in their final three matches of the campaign.

The inevitability of a mid-table finish has not suited Ian Murray's side in recent weeks though, as they have lost their last three matches, and have four defeats from their last six.

While a 2-1 defeat to high-flying Hibernian a couple of weeks ago may not have been a shock for the side, 3-0 defeats to strugglers Alloa Athletic and Cowdenbeath, who are both battling to avoid relegation, will have surely dented Dumbarton's confidence.

It has been a disappointing second half to the season, with the team slipping from playoff hopefuls before Christmas to claiming just three wins since New Year, leaving them seventh in the table.

Dumbarton have one of the leakiest defences in the league, conceding 72 goals so far this season, with only Cowdenbeath letting in more.

They have been marginally more comfortable at home, clinching five of their nine wins at the Bet Butler Stadium, but they have lost half of their fixtures at their own stadium this campaign.

Recent form: LWWLLL



Rangers

Stuart McCall has known for a few weeks that the playoffs are the best his side can hope for this season, and with the team 10 points clear of fifth-placed Falkirk, who have just two matches to play, they are now guaranteed a playoff spot.

Rangers suffered a rare blip in their last match, being held to a 1-1 draw with Livingston just a few days after thrashing Raith Rovers.

Despite dropping points in their previous outing, Rangers have won four of their last six, leaving them with more points from their last six matches than any other side in the league.

Off-the-pitch matters continue to be a concern for the club, with the club being delisted from the Stock Exchange earlier this month, while David Templeton has criticised former managers Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall recently.

McCall will be hoping that a trip to a side struggling for form will be a welcome distraction for his players, with the Gers having been almost as prolific away from home as at Ibrox this season.

Rangers have won eight of their 16 away matches so far, and lost just four times, so will be hoping for another three points this weekend ahead of a tricky finish to the season against Falkirk and Hearts.

Recent form: WWWLWD



Team News

The home side will be without Chris Turner as the midfielder is serving the second of a two-match ban after being sent off against Hibernian earlier this month.

David van Zanten is the team's only other absentee as the defender continues to battle a long-term injury which has kept him out of action since January.

Murray may be tempted to make changes though, despite not having any fresh injury concerns, given some of his side's recent results.

Meanwhile, Rangers have not reported any new injuries following the draw with Livingston, which saw Lee McCulloch return from suspension to captain the side.

With difficult fixtures still to come though, McCall make rotate his squad to rest some of his regulars and give others a run-out, with Robbie Crawford among those to miss out in midweek.

Dumbarton possible starting lineup:
Rogers, Wilson, Graham, Findlay, Megginson, Linton, Agnew, Kirkpartrick, Petrie, Easton, Fleming

Rangers possible starting lineup:
Bell, McGregor, McCulloch, Crawford, Wallace, Black, Shiels, Murdoch, Law, Boyd, Clark



Head To Head

This will be the fifth time that these two sides have met in all competitions this season, and Rangers have been victorious in each of their four previous meetings.

The most recent meeting between the two sides saw Rangers clinch a 3-1 win at Ibrox, while their previous league match at Dumbarton resulted in a 3-0 win back in October.

In 45 meetings in all competitions between the two clubs, Rangers have won over three quarters of the matches, while Dumbarton have won just five times and six matches have resulted in a draw.


We say: Dumbarton 0-2 Rangers

Dumbarton really have not tested Rangers in their previous matches this season, and have looked a shadow of the team that was pushing for a playoff place since the start of 2015. Even if Rangers rest some of the regular starters, the visitors should have more than enough to comfortably wrap up the win.


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool27261064174779
2Manchester CityMan City27183668293957
3Leicester CityLeicester27155754272750
4Chelsea2713594537844
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd27118841291241
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs2711794436840
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27101072925440
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2791263832639
9Arsenal2781363936337
10Burnley27114123339-637
11Everton27106113641-536
12Southampton27104133448-1434
13Crystal Palace2789102432-833
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2787122441-1731
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610113239-728
16Bournemouth2775152643-1726
17Aston Villa2774163452-1825
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham2766153248-1624
19Watford2759132443-1924
20Norwich CityNorwich2746172451-2718
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