Steven Gerrard has accused Aberdeen of trying harder against his Rangers side than they do when they face other teams.
Rangers have struggled to get the better of the Dons, especially in Glasgow.
Derek McInnes’ side have knocked the Light Blues out of both cup competitions and also won on their last Ladbrokes Premiership visit to Ibrox.
“Aberdeen play differently against Rangers,” said the former Liverpool captain ahead of Sunday’s Ibrox meeting. “That’s what I’ve noticed. They certainly raise their game. It seems as if Rangers is their biggest game of the season.
“Do they try harder against Rangers? That’s the way it looks on the eye. We watched them last week against Celtic and they never laid a finger on Celtic in the semi-final.
“They obviously come to play against Rangers and bring their A game. They’re very physical and they definitely lift their game against Rangers, that’s for sure.
“I suppose they know they have to be at their maximum to stop us. There have been some good battles. They have had the upper hand in the cups, knocking us out. But as the league stands we’ve done slightly better.
“I’m not saying they don’t raise their game against Celtic but they have found their form definitely against Rangers. And having watched them against Celtic a few weeks ago it wasn’t the performance you expect from Aberdeen if you look at their performances against Rangers.”
Gerrard was unhappy with the effort levels of some during a closed-door clash with Liverpool’s under 23s earlier this week. Rangers found themselves four goals down at half-time and it took the introduction of four youngsters to salvage a 4-4 draw.
“Certain individuals’ performance and effort and desire was embarrassing for this football club,” said Gerrard. “There were quite a few reasons for the game and for us it was a very important game.
“It doesn’t concern me because it’s quite easy. You identify the people who want to be with you and fight for success and identify those who don’t really care and are starting to show signs of downing tools.”