Jim Goodwin is expecting to face a full strength Rangers side when his team take to the Ibrox pitch this afternoon.

Despite the Light Blues men enjoying a massive 18-point lead in the Premiership, and having a crunch Europa League last-16 tie with Slavia Prague next Thursday to contend with, Buddies boss Goodwin is anticipating as strong a starting XI as Steven Gerrard can possibly put out.

As Gers look to wrap up their first top flight title since 2011 as quickly as they can, the Saints are just two points away from making their own bit of history by finishing in the top half come the split since the SPL was formed in 1998.

While Goodwin knows the challenge ahead is tough, he’s adamant his troops can pull off another upset in Glasgow this afternoon.

He told Express Sport: “It would be some achievement to beat them again, but that is what we hope to do.

“We are huge underdogs going into the game and we know that.

“Rangers have been quite incredible, their form has been unbelievable though we have been the only team to stop them this season.

“That’s why I don’t expect him to play a weakened team. I expect him to go with the strongest XI available.

“Whatever team he goes with will be a team full of quality, and we will have to be at our best to have a hope of getting anything.

“You will be limited to getting a few opportunities and you have to take one or two of them.

“We will go there and try to make it as difficult as possible and hope for a clean sheet. If we could do that it would guarantee us a point.

“We will try and get at them, get in their faces like we have done against the Old Firm this season with relative success.

“I would snap your hand off for a point right now. We will go there and try to win, but their form at Ibrox is scary.

“They have only conceded a couple of goals and won every game.

“I did watch their last home game with Dundee United, who did have two or three opportunities in the first 25 minutes.

“That gives us hope and makes us think we might get opportunities as well.

“When they come it’s then about being clinical.”

Goodwin admits his side will have to play better than they did against Ross County last weekend to come away with anything from their trip along the M8.

He believes his players will have an added spring in their step though after enjoying a first free midweek for more than a month.

Goodwin added: “We’ve been solid defensively recently but what has been lacking in our last four or five games is a little bit of quality in the final third.

“I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt because they’ve been running on fumes.

“There have been a lot of tired legs and maybe that’s why we haven’t had the level of finishing we had previously.

“We’re within touching distance of the top six now and of course we’d love to get it done sooner rather than later.

“We’ve got no injuries from the Ross County game and the players were delighted we had no midweek game.

“ The County game was our eleventh in 32 days so it was nice to have a full week to recover.

“We managed to give the boys a few days off to rest up so hopefully the boys will be fresh for what’s going to be a very demanding game.”