Queen of the South will have fond memories of their last Scottish Challenge Cup match against Rangers.
Travelling to Ibrox with little chance of winning, a 4-3 penalty-shootout win saw the underdogs triumph over Ally McCoist’s men. The Dumfries side did more than enough to match Rangers and went on to win the cup in 2012, but one year down the line, can the holders repeat such a triumph?
Only optimistic supporters will answer positively. As the two sides gear up for this fascinating encounter, let’s preview the night ahead with the latest team news, gossip and predictions.
Who: Queen of the South vs. Rangers, Scottish Challenge Cup Quarterfinal
Where: Palmerston Park, Dumfries
When: Tuesday Sept. 17, K/O: 7:45 p.m. BST.
How to Watch: BBC Alba
Queen of the South Team News
Having failed to score in three of their last four matches, Queen of the South need to quickly find their shooting boots against the unbeaten Scottish League One side.
Jim McIntyre’s first full season in charge hasn’t ushered in a run of inspiring results, with the Doonhammers currently sitting second from bottom in the Scottish Championship.
August's opening-day win against Dundee remains Queen of the South’s last in the league, although a couple of tightly contested cup matches have seen McIntyre’s side overcome lesser opposition.
Mark Durnan will miss the clash with Rangers after his red card against Raith Rovers. As reported by BBC Sport, the 20-year-old was shown a straight red for bringing down Calum Elliot during the defeat, rendering him unavailable for the upcoming tie.
BBC Sport also reports that McIntyre will be without Paul Burns, who is currently struggling with a groin injury.
|Sat, Sept. 14||Queen of the South 0-1 Raith Rovers||Scottish Championship||L|
|Sat, Aug. 31||Queen of the South 0-0 Alloa||Scottish Championship||D|
|Tues, Aug. 27||Queen of the South 2-1 St Mirren||Scottish League Cup: Second Round||W|
|Sat, Aug. 24||Hamilton 2-0 Queen of the South||Scottish Championship||L|
|Tues, Aug. 20||Airdrieonians 0-2 Queen of the South||Scottish Challenge Cup: Second Round||W|
Results via BBC Sport.
Rangers Team News
McCoist and his side travel to Palmerston Park in a stunning run of form. The team have scored 23 goals in five Scottish League One matches this season and currently lead the table with maximum points. Even so, preparation for this fixture hasn’t been perfect.
Disgraced midfielder Ian Black has apologised to fans after receiving a gambling ban. As reported by BBC Sport, the 28-year-old was fined £7,500 and given a 10-match ban after admitting a breach of SFA rules.
The Scottish Daily Record reports Lewis Macleod is a doubt for the match with a knee injury, while Lee Wallace is also likely to miss out with a hip complaint.
|Sat, Sept. 14||Rangers 5-1 Arbroath||Scottish League One||W|
|Sat, Aug. 31||Rangers 5-0 East Fife||Scottish League One||W|
|Tues, Aug. 27||Rangers 2-0 Berwick||Scottish Challenge Cup: Second Round||W|
|Fri, Aug. 23||Airdrieonians 0-6 Rangers||Scottish League One||W|
|Sat, Aug. 17||Stranraer 0-3 Rangers||Scottish League One||W|
Results via BBC Sport.
Despite playing in the league above Rangers, Queen of the South are absolute underdogs. McCoist's side have settled since being thrown to the bottom tier of Scottish football and continue to play in a division that is below their level.
As such, the home side need great support to have any chance of causing an upset. Nicky Clark—who headed Queen of the South into the lead against Rangers last year—returns to face his former club in an intriguing battle and will be confident of upsetting those who used to support him.
Which team will win this match?
Rangers' recent goalscoring form has seen them net 10 goals in two games. Goals continue to come from across the squad, with Lee McCulloch, Andrew Little, Lewis Macleod, Jon Daly and Nicky Law all currently on the Scottish League One top scorers' list, as compiled by BBC Sport.
The home side's recent lack of goals ensures they will need to halt an attack that continues to demolish its way through any defence.
A victory against Rangers will allow McIntyre and his squad to gain major confidence heading into the rest of the season, but it's immensely difficult to overlook a team that is likely to get promoted once more at the first attempt.
Firepower will triumph.
Prediction: Queen of the South 0-3 Rangers