Rangers have Premiership title chance - Peter Lovenkrands

Rangers players celebrate a goal in their win against East Stirlingshire
Rangers beat East Stirlingshire 3-0 on Friday to record their third straight League Cup win

Former Rangers forward Peter Lovenkrands expects the Ibrox side to challenge for the Scottish Premiership title this season.

However, the Dane believes Mark Warburton's Championship winners must start the season strongly.

"I think they will challenge, definitely," said Lovenkrands. "I don't see why not. They definitely have a good squad, they've added to it.

"It'll be how they start the season that will determine how they go on."

Former Denmark player Lovenkrands, who helped Rangers win two Scottish Premier League titles between 2000 and 2006, points to last season's encounters between the Ibrox side and top-flight sides, particularly their Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic on penalties.

Momo Sylla and Peter Lovenkrands
Lovenkrands (right) won six trophies over a six-year spell at Rangers

"There was absolutely no gap whatsoever," Lovenkrands said of the Hampden encounter. "Rangers were dominant in certain areas, Celtic dominated at certain points.

"You saw last year with the games against the teams in the top league. Some of them, they absolutely demolished. [Rangers also won 2-1 at Kilmarnock in a Scottish Cup fifth-round replay and beat Dundee 4-0 in the quarter-finals].

"It's definitely going to be the team that's going to give Celtic a run for their money for this season.

"Of course, Aberdeen and Hearts are going to do their bit, like they did last year but Rangers are 100% going to be in the middle of it."

However, Lovenkrands believes Warburton still needs to strengthen his squad before the close of the transfer window at the end of next month, with nine players already having moved to Ibrox this summer.

Rangers have beaten Motherwell, Annan Athletic and East Stirlingshire so far in their Scottish League Cup group and complete their first-round campaign against Stranraer on Monday.

"I still feel like they're letting far too many chances against them," added the Dane. "It's difficult because I think they're going to go up against better teams that are going to take more advantage of it and score goals against them.

"That's the area they need to look at. They need to strengthen up at the back and make sure that they don't let the other team get too many chances. Luckily enough, they're scoring a lot of goals at the other end.

"They need another centre-half and maybe another striker."

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