FRIDAY night's opponents Rangers have had a cracking season so far under new manager Steven Gerrard as he takes on the mantle of trying to get the club back to the top in Scottish football and the game with Cowdenbeath will be his first Scottish Cup tie.

The former Liverpool skipper took over at Ibrox after an indifferent time for the 'Gers on their step up back to the Premiership.

After getting back upstairs in 2015-2016 Rangers were consistent top four contenders but failed to really make a dent in Celtic's run of title wins.

So after former Cowdenbeath boss Jimmy Nicholl finished last season as caretaker manager at Ibrox, steering Rangers into a Europa Cup spot, the Glasgow club moved for Gerrard who retired from playing and took up coaching Liverpool's Under 18 side.

He had his eye on a big club job though and when Rangers approached him he had no hesitation in taking on the challenge.

And so far it has been very much a case of very steady progress with a series of impressive performances in the Europa League being backed by a league run which saw them go into the Premiership winter break in second place, only behind Celtic on goal difference and having won the holiday derby with the 'Tic 1-0.

There are several key players in the side who will pose problems for the Blue Brazil and leading scorer Alfredo Morelos has 20 goals already this season in all competitions.

Another influential player is midfielder Scott Arfield, the former Falkirk midfielder, who has been highly effective since joining up at Ibrox in the summer from Burnley.

There are two other high profile players who may well be involved on Friday night, former England front man, Jermain Defoe, and midfielder Steve Davis, who has rejoined from Southampton.

It all adds up to a big night, but it is only four seasons since Rangers were at Central Park when the Blue Brazil were in the Championship.

That was a goalless draw and a similar result would do Cowden in the cup-tie.

It is an important game for Cowdenbeath from a financial point of view. Said director David Allan: "It is the sort of plum tie that all League 1 and 2 teams look for in the Scottish Cup.

"An all ticket crowd and live television lifts the profile of the club and we hope to realise around £70,000 from the tie."

The match is live on Sky television's Premier Sport channel.