It is a sign of the enduring appeal of Rangers that, despite being under a transfer embargo until September, they this week appeared close to persuading Kilmarnock and Scotland squad goalkeeper Cammy Bell to leave the SPL club in the summer and sign for the Glasgow giants once the embargo is lifted later this year.
Bell has been on Ally McCoist’s radar for some time but if his signature can be confirmed, it would represent a major coup for a club still striving to reassert their dominance on the Scottish game.
And it would also represent a boost to a club whose resources are being stretched to the maximum under the strain of the unprecedented signing ban.
Top scorer and club captain Lee McCulloch appears to be no nearer to a comeback after failing to recover from an injury picked up in January, while Lewis McLeod and Darren Cole are also long-term injury casualties, Kal Naismith is suspended and Kevin Kyle, Fran Sandaza and Ross Perry are struggling with knocks.
Nevertheless, the players who remain should still do the job when Rangers visit Clyde on Saturday afternoon.
The Light Blues are 31 points ahead of the Bully Wee in the Division 3 table – that’s six more points than Clyde have won all season – and they haven’t lost in the league since a 1-0 defeat to Stirling Albion in October.
It is therefore no surprise that the visitors are as short as 3/20 to pick up another three points at Broadwood Stadium.
If Clyde are to take anything from the game, then the draw looks like their best bet. McCoist’s men have drawn two of their last five, while the hosts have drawn their last three, all of which have been against sides above them in the table, so there could be a few takers for this outcome at odds of 6/1.
With a home win at 9/1 unlikely to generate much attention, the best way of making a bit of money from this one might be by backing Clyde to find the net, which is available at odds of 21/20.
They have scored in 11 of their last 12 games (although admittedly Rangers were the only team able to shut them out during that run – a 3-0 defeat at Ibrox on Boxing Day), while midfielder John Sweeney has scored in four of his last five games despite having scored only one goal in the whole season up until January 5th.
Rangers have also conceded at least one goal in five of their last seven games so even if they win, as I expect them to do, the chances of them keeping a clean sheet in the process aren’t great.
New customers who sign up with bwin online qualify for a free £20 bet and using that to back Clyde to score will return £42 if successful.