THE painful 2-0 defeat that Rangers suffered at the hands of Celtic at Ibrox 11 days ago should ensure that Livingston are defeated and, what is more, defeated comfortably when the Ladbrokes Premiership resumes on Saturday.

The international break denied Steven Gerrard’s players the chance to put the below par performance and bitterly disappointing loss behind them straight away.

But the memory of their humbling by Neil Lennon’s team will still be fresh in their memories when Willie Collum blows his whistle at the start of the game with Gary Holt’s side this weekend.

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The West Lothian club have started the 2019/20 campaign impressively – they are the only undefeated team in the top flight other than Celtic after four games - and will travel to Glasgow with hopes high of pulling off an upset.

But Joe Aribo, Steven Davis, Connor Goldson, Alfredo Morelos and their team mates will be hell bent on producing a good display and racking up three points in front of the fans they let down so badly at the start of the month.

Triumphing over opponents who will, despite their fine league form to date, simply be hoping to survive in the Premiership this term will be every bit as important as getting the better of their city rivals.

Rangers’ failure to win the Premiership last season wasn’t down to their failings against Celtic; they won both of their league games at home against the then double treble winners comfortably.

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No, what scuppered Gerrard’s hopes of landing the Scottish title was his charges’ inability to win games against lesser sides.

Lennon stressed the importance of taking care of business in fixtures with the likes of Ross County, St Johnstone and St Mirren that as he looked ahead to his own team’s clash with Hamilton at the Fountain of Youth Stadium on Saturday.

“There is a disparity between some games in Scotland,” he said. “Complacency is your enemy after a big high and a huge concentrated effort. There is no point in winning at Ibrox and slipping up at Hamilton.

“You do want that momentum going, and we have built up some against Rangers, but we don’t want that to dip.”

Gerrard appreciates the dangers of his side not performing at their very best on a weekly basis only too well after his debut season in the dugout; dropping points against Aberdeen, Dundee, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Livingston and Motherwell away and Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and St Johnstone at home proved highly costly.

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Rangers leaked 11 points at home and no fewer than 19 away in their matches against teams other than Celtic in the 2018/19 campaign. That is 30 points in total. But they only finished nine points adrift of the eventual winners. You do the math.

Liverpool and England great Gerrard realised he needed a bigger squad last season in order to provide more competition for places and ensure greater consistency. He has brought in 11 new faces, nine in permanent moves and two on loan, this summer.

That should ensure there are far less slip-ups against likes of Livingston than in the past and could prove crucial come May. It may be the difference between Celtic completing their ninth consecutive league win and coming up short.

If Rangers draw or even lose on Saturday then their supporters should be highly alarmed.