STEVEN GERRARD is confident Rangers can rise to the challenge at Pittodrie and overcome Aberdeen at the fourth attempt this term.

The Ibrox boss saw his side held to a 1-1 draw on the opening weekend of the league campaign before they went down in the Betfred Cup semi-finals at Hampden.

Derek McInnes’ side were victorious in the Premiership encounter in Glasgow and are just two points adrift of the Light Blues in the standings.

Victory this evening would be a major boost to Rangers’ title challenge ahead of their Scottish Cup fifth round clash with Kilmarnock at the weekend.

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And Gerrard is relishing the chance to go head-to-head with McInnes again as the teams do battle for the fourth time this term.

He said: “Going through the games, I was really delighted with our performance at Pittodrie in the circumstances.

“I was disappointed we didn’t get over the line, but I felt our level of performance was enough to get the win.

“The semi-final was frustrating. We were toothless. We didn’t have the firepower up top, but as for how we played in the game, I couldn’t really ask the players for any more.

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“The Ibrox fixture was most frustrating out of them all because we had all the control of the ball and got done by a sucker-punch from a set-piece.

“We know where we have gone wrong in this fixture and we know what we have to put right. This is a good opportunity to that.

“It [the rivalry] is bigger than I thought coming in from the outside.

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“Now I totally get it and understand it and I have more education around it. I think it’s a great fixture to play in for the players.

“Aberdeen have a very competitive manager and the atmosphere was excellent on the first day, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“It does have a similar feel to an Old Firm in a way. Obviously, nothing will ever compete to the Old Firm, but Aberdeen is probably the next in line.”

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