Having suffered defeat to Celtic before the end of 2023, Philippe Clement would have had few complaints in having Rangers enjoy a break from action after a relentless period of games.
A seven-game winning streak had preceded the Old Firm disappointment, yet the setback has the potential to be pivotal now that Rangers sit eight points adrift of their rivals.
Beating St Johnstone by a 3-1 scoreline before the break in action was key in keeping Rangers within touching distance, but Clement will welcome the opportunity to get back up to speed in a fixture such as this one.
Friendlies have been played against Hertha Berlin and Copenhagen to maintain fitness levels, although sharpness should be regained against opponents who will most likely sit deep.
With the Scottish League Cup already in the bag, Rangers will want an extended run in this tournament to maintain hope of securing a domestic treble.
From Dumbarton’s perspective, this is the type of money-spinning game that every team below the top flight craves at this stage of the competition.
Victories over Banks O’Dee and Annan Athletic have been recorded so far, both in dramatic circumstances with a 3-2 triumph over the former being followed by a 5-4 success after extra time versus the latter.
Stephen Farrell’s side have been far from impressive of late, though, with just two points being accumulated from a possible 12 in the fourth tier
After a near three-week gap between games, it would come as little surprise if the Rangers XI was similar to the one that started against St Johnstone on January 2.
However, with Kieran Dowell having picked up an injury during the club’s mid-season training camp, Dujon Sterling could start if he recovers from a knock of his own.
Fabio Silva may have to remain patient in his bid to secure a first start since his loan switch from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
With goalkeeper Jay Hogarth not able to face his parent club, Harry Broun or Patrick O’Neil will deputise between the sticks.
That may prove to be the only change unless Farrell makes the decision to go with a more defensive-minded approach.