Kenny Miller: Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe will be 'huge' for Rangers

Rangers' Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe celebrate against Kilmarnock
Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe celebrated early against Kilmarnock but suffered defeat
Scottish Premiership: Livingston v Rangers
Venue: Tony Macaroni Arena Date: Sunday, January 27 Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland; live text coverage on BBC Sport Scotland website

Kenny Miller believes Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe will get "better and stronger" for Rangers - but says beating Livingston is a must to prove the Ibrox side's title credentials.

The big-name veteran pair have signed on loan from Southampton and Bournemouth respectively.

They made their debuts as Rangers followed a win over Premiership leaders Celtic with defeat by Kilmarnock.

But former Rangers striker Miller says they will prove "fantastic signings".

Miller was Davis' team-mate during the midfielder's previous spell at Ibrox, while he knows fellow striker Defoe, who scored at Rugby Park, as an opponent during their time in England's top flight.

He is also in an ideal position to assess Sunday's hosts, having been Livingston player-manager at the start of the season before playing against them for present club Dundee.

Miller on Davis and Defoe

The 34-year-old Davis had played six times for Southampton this season, while Defoe, two years his elder, had only made two more appearances for Bournemouth before leaving their parent clubs in search of first-team starts.

However, Miller, who himself is 39, thinks they will be "huge signings" for Rangers once Steven Gerrard's side adapt to playing Defoe alongside Alfredo Morelos up front.

"Both of those players have not had a lot of game time and, when you get to the latter stage of your career, playing regularly is even more important," he said.

"But, if you look at the two of them, they are in great nick and they will only get better as the weeks pass.

"When Steve has been asked to play for Southampton, he was outstanding. Jermain, you can see has a real enthusiasm for the game.

"When you get older, you might lose that wee half-yard, but you make up for that up top and he's always sharp, he's alive around the box."

Miller on Halkett

Livingston's Gregg Wylde and Hearts' Steven Naismith
Gregg Wylde (left) was taken off after 60 minutes of his Livingston debut

Top scorer Ryan Hardie, who has extended his stay with Livingston until the end of the season, will be unable to face his parent club because of the terms of his loan.

But two former Rangers players well known to Miller are in line to face Gerrard's side - Gregg Wylde and Craig Halkett.

Halkett was an emerging youth during Miller's third spell at Ibrox - and an established part of Livingston's central defence when the veteran striker took over as player-manager.

"He is a great lad to work with," Miller said of the 23-year-old. "Even as a kid coming through at Rangers, he was always highly thought of, but he was obviously still growing and picked up a few injuries.

"He's definitely one of the defenders of the season, that's for sure, and I will be most surprised if he is still with Livingston next season."

Miller on Sunday's game

Livingston's Dolly Menga scores against Rangers
Dolly Menga scored Livingston's winner against Rangers in September

Livingston's strong start to the season, including a 1-0 win over Rangers at home in September, means they are all-but safe from relegation in seventh place, but they have now gone five games without a win.

Rangers won the reverse fixture 3-0 at Ibrox, but Miller thinks the Ibrox club will not relish playing on an artificial surface for the second time within a week.

"The pitch obviously plays a part - and definitely in Rangers' case because they want to move the ball quickly and get it zipping about the pitch. It slows the game up and allows Livingston to be the particularly strong unit that they are at home.

"I would go for a narrow Rangers win. Off the back of a poor result in midweek, they need to see a reaction."

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