Aberdeen v Rangers preview: Steven Gerrard makes Scottish Premiership debut live on Sky Sports
Watch live on Sky Sports Football from 12.30pm on Sunday
Last Updated: 05/08/18 12:20pm
Steven Gerrard will make his Scottish Premiership debut as Rangers manager live on Sky Sports when his side travel to Aberdeen on Sunday.
The former Liverpool captain took over from Graeme Murty during the summer and has brought in five new players so far to help him in his first campaign as Rangers boss.
He has begun well, guiding the team through two qualifications rounds for the Europa League - including a 2-1 aggregate victory against NK Osijek on Thursday - and Gerrard is confident his side will be ready for the clash live on Sky Sports Football from 12.30pm.
"Spirits are good and we just need to get the players recovered and ready to go for a tough fixture against a well-organised team," he said.
"We're going to face a tough game, it's a big rivalry but we go there in a confident mood and we are going to get the right result for our supporters.
"Both teams will be tired today as both put a lot of effort into European games, we have a few tired bodies but there is enough time to recover ahead of Sunday."
Aberdeen have also been in Europa League qualifying action ahead of the new league season, but were knocked out by Premier League side Burnley on Thursday after extra time in the second leg.
However, Derek McInnes sees a high-profile date with Gerrard's Rangers as the "perfect game" to help his Aberdeen side recover from their Europa League disappointment.
"It's clear and raw at the minute, but we can't have any hangover from this game affecting the next one," he said.
"There's no better game to try and get off to feeling better about ourselves than by winning on Sunday against Rangers. That'll be tough but it's a brilliant game to be involved in and maybe just the perfect game for us."
Rangers manager Gerrard confirmed that despite a few tired legs, Rangers had no new injury concerns for the game at Pittodrie.
Declan John (back), Lee Wallace (groin), Jordan Rossiter (ankle) and Graham Dorrans (knee) remain out with Umar Sadiq unlikely to feature while still short on fitness.
Aberdeen trio Tommie Hoban, Niall McGinn and Sam Cosgrove all face a struggle to recover in time while Shay Logan will definitely miss out as he starts a three-game ban triggered by his red card on the final day of last season at Celtic Park.
Frank Ross and Greg Tansey (both groin) join long-term knee-injury victim Mark Reynolds on the absentee list.
Aberdeen have beaten Rangers seven times in the Scottish Premiership but failed to do so in any of the four such meetings last season (D1 L3).
Rangers have won five of their last seven league trips to Pittodrie (D1 L1), as many as their previous 16 visits to Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership combined.
At home on the opening day of the season, Aberdeen have won three of their last five games (D1 L1).
Only Hearts have beaten Rangers on the opening day of the Scottish Premiership season (2-1 in 1998), and since then they are on a 15-match unbeaten run in their first game in the top-flight (W11 D4).
Aberdeen were unbeaten in their final five games of last season (W3 D2) and only failed to keep a clean sheet in their 1-1 draw with Rangers in May 2018.
Rangers conceded the first goal in 14 matches last season but gained 18 points in those games (W5 D3) which was the joint-best such record in the division (level with Hibernian).