Rangers aiming to stretch title lead over Falkirk at Ibrox

Rangers will have to do without Gedion Zelalem, who is on international duty with the USA
Rangers will have to do without Gedion Zelalem, who is on international duty with the USA

It’s first versus second in the Championship at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon as Rangers host Falkirk with the opportunity to stretch their lead over the visitors to a healthy 12 points.

Rangers of course now stand as the only club in British football with a 100% League record – but Falkirk remain unbeaten with 15 points from seven games whilst at the same time suffering a catastrophic 0-7 League Cup humiliation at the hands of Ross County on the same night that Tommy Wright’s St. Johnstone won at Ibrox.

Mark Warburton will certainly have to make changes from the side that won 4-0 at Greenock last Sunday with Gedion Zelalem on International duty with the USA and Dean Shiels set to stake a claim that many would view as long-overdue for a place in the engine room of the team.

Peter Houston’s men proved difficult opponents for the Light Blues last season – twice sharing the spoils in drawn games, the second of which, a 2-2 draw at Ibrox in the penultimate League game of the campaign, ultimately proved critical in the race for second place in the Championship.

The ‘Bairns’ were also beaten Scottish Cup Finalists last season – with many onlookers believing them to be unlucky not to lift the national trophy.

Concern remains over the fragility of the Rangers defence, highlighted to such telling effect in the defeat to St. Johnstone, although in fairness this is undoubtedly due – in part at least – to the open attacking play promoted by Mark Warburton with full-backs James Tavernier and Lee Wallace committed to going forward at every opportunity.

There is of course an old maxim that one should never worry about conceding two goals if you can score three at the other end – but as the recent League Cup fixture proved such ideals do not always hold true.

It has been all of 90 years since Falkirk last won a League game at Ibrox - although only a last-minute equaliser from Nicky Law deprived them of that place in history back in April – and the ‘Bairns’ will be seeking to record a unique double, having been the first side to defeat unbeaten Hearts in last season’s Championship.

Mark Warburton will be determined to avoid a repetition of that achievement.

Meanwhile, controversy continues to surround the position of former Chief Executive Charles Greene who is claiming that the club are liable for all of his legal expenses in relation to his time at Ibrox.

Given that Greene has been charged with a multi-million pound fraud in relation to his acquisition of Rangers such costs could amount to a massive amount of money and could potentially cripple the club financially.

The terms of any such termination clause in his contract would of course have been negotiated by the old Board of Directors – and frankly would be a remarkable and almost unprecedented clause – but it remains to be seen whether it would hold up to being challenged in a court of law.

Whatever the final outcome it is surely one more issue Rangers could have done without.