Rangers v Motherwell talking points

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Rangers face Motherwell in Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi-final showdown.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the talking points surrounding the Hampden Park clash.

RANGERS HAVE ANOTHER POINT TO PROVE

Pedro Caixinha will try once again to finally piece together three straight wins when Rangers run out at the national stadium. The Light Blues have suffered bouts of inconsistency since their Portuguese coach was appointed in March. But, having swept aside Hamilton last month, they then put on their most impressive display of the season so far with last Friday’s 3-0 win over St Johnstone. The challenge now for Rangers – and their under-pressure boss – is to prove they can back those performances up and keep hopes of lifting a first major trophy since 2011 on track.

WILL THERE BE MILLER TIME AT HAMPDEN?

Caixinha refused to discuss the latest twist to his fall-out with frontman Kenny Miller when he met the media on Friday but it appears unlikely he will feature this weekend after his agent David Baldwin hit out at Rangers’ treatment of his client on social media. That only poured fresh fuel on their rift and while Miller has been allowed to rejoin the first team for training, the Light Blues boss has not made any noises to suggest he will be back in the squad to face the Steelmen after being left out of the wins over Accies and Saints.

CAN CARLOS PENA PRODUCE ON THE BIG STAGE?

Rangers’ Mexican new boy is proving himself to be a true enigma. The £2.5million summer recruit from Guadalajara has come in for criticism for his often erratic first touch and wayward passing. Yet he has managed to notch four goals in his last six games, including an impressively executed brace against St Johnstone. While he may not be the most pleasant on the eye outside the box, his late runs and deadly finishing are making him an effective weapon for Caixinha, and if he can notch against Motherwell he will go a long way to silencing his doubters for good.

MOTHERWELL ON A ROLL

The Steelmen are this season’s surprise package, having shaken off the tag of relegation contenders to fire themselves into the early top-six stakes. Already sitting fourth in the Ladbrokes Premiership table and on a fine run that has seen them win six of their last eight games. Stephen Robinson’s men will fancy their chances of tripping up Rangers. Key to their hopes will be striker Louis Moult. He already has nine goals to his name this term and Well will need him to take every chance that comes his way. Youngster Allan Campbell – this week awarded a new contract – will also have a big part to play in quelling the threat of midfielders Pena and Graham Dorrans.

PETER HARTLEY READY FOR THE BATTLE

The on-loan Blackpool defender did not hold back last week when quizzed on his upcoming tussle with Rangers frontman Alfredo Morelos, telling several newspapers: “I don’t mind a physical fight – and if he wants one after the match as well, then I won’t be going anywhere.” Morelos has shown he enjoys the rough-and-tumble side of the game and his head to head with Hartley should be one of the more compelling clashes at Hampden.

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