Champions Rangers begin the defence of their title at Ibrox in this Scottish Premiership curtain-raiser against Livingston. Steven Gerrard’s side are the 4/9 favourites with William Hill to retain their league crown this season, but will the Teddy Bears get off to a good start on Saturday?
Where and when: Ibrox Stadium – 31 July, kick-off 13:00
Where you can see Rangers vs. Livingston: Sky Sports
Last time: James Tavernier, Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi were all on target as the Gers cruised to a 3-0 victory over Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena in the penultimate game of last season back in May.
Rangers v Livingston Predictions and Preview
Rangers have a superb record against Livingston over recent campaigns. The Gers lost to Livi in their first meeting back in the top flight in September 2018, but have gone 10 unbeaten since then. Rangers scored six times in winning the last three clashes between the clubs last season without conceding a goal, but there’s hope for the visitors from their first meeting of the campaign.
Livingston managed to pick up a point against Glasgow giants courtesy of a goalless draw early on in the season. However, that was on home soil, with fans returning to Ibrox this weekend for the unfurling of the league championship flag. There’s sure to be a frenzied atmosphere inside the ground, with Rangers fans finally able to see their team in live Premiership action.
Even so, it may be tough to top the mood from last weekend, when the Scottish champions came from behind to beat a strong Real Madrid side 2-1 in their final pre-season friendly. That followed draws with Premier League duo Arsenal and Brighton, sending the Gers into the new campaign in buoyant fashion.
The hosts will be keen to keep up that momentum in this Rangers v Livingston preview, given they’ve got a crucial Champions League qualifier coming up a few days later. A positive start to their domestic campaign would set them up nicely in their quest to make the group stage of Europe’s top club competition for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Rangers to win to nil
Rangers to win 2-0
Roofe to score first
Gerrard’s side cantered to the title last season, finishing a monstrous 25 points clear of second-placed Celtic. The Light Blues are the heavy favourites to continue their fine form into the new campaign, priced at 2/9 in these Rangers v Livingston predictions.
The visitors are out at 33/2, as they go in search of their first victory over Rangers in three years. Livi did well to finish fifth in the table at the end of last season’s first phase, but they ran out of steam in the second phase and lost four of their final five matches.
Pre-season has been a mixed bag for David Martindale’s side, with the Lions winning two warm-up friendlies before their four fixtures in Group D of the Scottish League Cup. Livingston won two, lost one and drew one to finish as one of the best runners-up and secure their place in the second round, where they’ll play St Mirren at home.
Avoiding defeat would be a great way for Livi to start the season, and they’ll take some heart from their draw with Rangers last term. Repeating that will be tough here though, with the stalemate priced at 6/1. The smart money surely goes on the home team beginning their title defence with three points.
One to watch for Rangers: Kemar Roofe finished as Rangers’ top scorer in the league last term, netting 14 goals in 24 appearances. The 28-year-old is the 3/1 favourite to open his account on Saturday by netting the opener in this Rangers v Livingston prediction.
One to watch for Livingston: Scott Pittman was Livingston’s highest scorer in the Scottish Premiership last season. The midfielder found the back of the net on seven occasions, and he could be worth a punt at 22/1 to break the deadlock here.
Long shot: Rangers scored six goals and kept three clean sheets in their last three games against Livi last term. The Gers are 22/5 to win this game 2-0 as part of your Rangers v Livingston tips, rising to 21/1 if you include Roofe as the opening scorer.