The opening fixture of the Scottish Premiership 2022/23 season will see Livingston host Rangers at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Rangers go into this match as the favourites and will be the second favourites behind defending champions, Celtic, to lift the title. Both teams have made a few changes to the team in the transfer window, and we might see some new faces featuring in the Scottish Premiership for the first time. Last season, Rangers finished four points behind Celtic, and Livingston finished seventh in the league table.
Livingston ended the last season with 49 points in 38 league matches. They scored 41 goals and conceded 46. All the teams except the top three finished with a negative goal difference last season. This season, Livingston will look to finish in the top half.
The above viz shows the overall summary of the team’s attack, passing and defence. When looking at the above chart, the general rule is that the longer the bar, the better the performance — you can see the league average in the middle, and the % is the percentile rank the player is in. Livingston were poorly ranked for scoring goals, and their passing was ineffective, creating very few chances for the team. This season, they need to improve their attack and passing. Defensively, the team enjoyed a high success rate, ranking high for defensive action success rate. Livingston lacked discipline and received the most bookings. The manager will expect his team to improve on that part.
Livingston will be without Esmaël Gonçalves due to suspension. They are likely to go with their full strength XI in the first match of the season.
Rangers will be a different team this season. After narrowly missing out on the league title last season, the Gers will look to accelerate from the opening fixture of the season. Rangers finished with 89 points and scored 80 goals in the last season. They scored 12 goals fewer than Celtic. Rangers conceded 31 goals, and that will be the biggest concern for the manager as Celtic conceded nine goals fewer than them.
Rangers’ team was very highly ranked in all three domains. Notably, the team is a threat in the air and attempted the highest number of headed shots last season. They also had the highest passing accuracy in the league. Along with this, the defensive duels win percentage was also on a high, along with the recoveries inside the opposition’s half.
The Rangers’ line-up could feature three to four new signings. Alfredo Morelos remains out, and Antonio Colak is expected to lead the line. Tom Lawrence will add creativity to the side along with Ryan Kent.
Rangers will be the favourites to win their opening match. They will look to keep the momentum from the get-go. Livingston, on the other hand, will hope for an upset in the opening fixture and will go all guns blazing. This could be a thrilling opening contest in the Scottish Premiership.