Rangers fans will have been delighted in midweek when they put a stop to a run of five games without a win in emphatic style. As Hearts turned up at Ibrox the Gers were back to their best as they ran out comfortable 3-0 winners, although this weekend a tough trip to Fir Park promises to be anything but comfortable.
The last time the Gers travelled to face Motherwell on the road, they were denied by a late Peter Hartley goal, and considering the 31-year-old defender had been giving it big talk pre-match, it didn’t go down well with the Bluenoses.
Since then, Hartley has fallen out of favour, but given his heroics last time out he could well be given a start, and here we’ll be comparing him with Rangers’ on-loan man, Joe Worrall.
When Joe Worrall was brought in by Steven Gerrard over the summer it seemed like a strange one.
Nottingham Forest were more than happy to let their 22-year-old centre-half leave on-loan and get some first-team experience, yet it looked as though Gerrard had already settled upon a defensive pairing of Nikola Katic and Connor Goldson at that point.
In the last few months, though, it seems that everyone in the Gers’ hierarchy has been happy to let Worrall amble around aimlessly in the senior side starting most games whilst Katic is on the bench.
On Wednesday the youngster did help to a clean-sheet, but he also played his part in the Gers winless run and was diabolical in the Old Firm too. Rangers fans just haven’t taken to him it seems, and when his loan ends there will be few calls for Worrall to be signed permanently.
TT GRADE: C
Motherwell fans have watched on from the stands this season as Peter Hartley, their club captain, has become a fringe player at Fir Park, failing to get off the bench in the club’s last 11 Scottish Premier League matches. However, if he does play, the 31-year-old has history with Rangers, after his controversial comments before the 3-3 draw earlier in the season and his late, late equaliser.
In the run-in, before the two sides clashed back in August, Hartley made some inappropriate comments where he claimed it was ‘fun to watch’ Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso weeping after breaking his nose the previous season in a game between the sides.
The defender was sanctioned by the SFA for his comments, but when it mattered he turned up during the game with a 94th-minute winner, and if he plays this time around later today then he’ll surely back himself to make an impact as he did last time.
TT GRADE: B
No one is expecting any surprises when Rangers travel to Motherwell, and Steven Gerrard’s side should be able to make amends for their stalemate last time out at Fir Park. However, if it comes down to a straight matchup between Worrall and Hartley then it may get more complicated, as Worrall has hardly proved himself to be a world class talent in his time at Ibrox.
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