ALLY McCOIST admits Rangers will have to be at their best if they are to beat Elgin on Sunday.
Ross Jack's side visit Ibrox for the second time this season aiming to gain revenge for their 5-1 Irn-Bru Third Division loss.
A place in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup is at stake and McCoist knows the Highlanders pose a significant goal threat.
He said: "They've been doing really well and I still think that Elgin are one of the better sides we have played this year even although the result at Ibrox would indicate otherwise.
"We won 5-1 but they took an early lead and played fairly well in that game.
"I've got a lot of time for their manager; Ross is a good lad and I also think his team scores goals.
"When you look at the team at the moment I think they've scored the same amount as ourselves (in the league) albeit they have played a game more.
"So it's a cup tie we're looking forward to and we would obviously settle for the same result as the league game.
"I'm not sure we'll get that but I think Ross' team have certainly in recent weeks shown that they are a handful for anyone in the division.
"And indeed with the way they are scoring goals they are playing with a lot of confidence."
The cup clash comes just days after the league meeting between the two was postponed at Borough Briggs.
McCoist added: "You look at the way the teams were positioned before the game and it gave us an opportunity, if we had won, to put a gap between ourselves and second and third place."
Rangers' prospects could receive a boost, with striker Francisco Sandaza closing in on a return from a fractured cheekbone sustained against Motherwell in September.
Sandaza was expected to be out until the end of the year after requiring facial reconstruction and the insertion of a plate. It had been feared at one stage he could lose an eye.
But the Spaniard scored in a successful return in a 3-1 reserve win over Livingston at Murray Park on Tuesday.
Reserve team boss Tommy Wilson said: "I would think with the goal threat he carries and his experience he'll absolutely be in contention to be in the squad for the Elgin game."