Mark Warburton addresses whether Niko Kranjcar could make Rangers debut against Motherwell

Niko Kranjcar - Queens Park Rangers on the bench

Warburton's Glasgow Rangers side take on Well in the opening game of the reformatted Scottish League Cup competition.

Niko Kranjcar - Queens Park Rangers on the benchNiko Kranjcar

Mark Warburton has hinted that Niko Kranjcar could make his competitive debut for Rangers when they take on Motherwell on the first day of the season, The Scottish Sun reports.

The two Scottish Premiership sides meet on Saturday in the opening game of the revamped League Cup. The new format will see both teams play four matches in a group-stage before their league campaign gets underway.

Burnley's Joey BartonWarburton once again confirmed that Joey Barton will not feature

And while Warburton once again confirmed that Joey Barton will miss the contest, he did suggest that the attacking midfielder could play some part at Fir Park.

"Tomorrow is too early for Joey but you might see Niko," he told The Scottish Sun.

Queens Park Rangers' Niko Kranjcar (L) and Doncaster Rovers' Dean Furman in action

With the slightly odd scheduling of the competition - the Light Blues have a pre-season fixture against Burnley to come after they finish the group-stage - Warburton may be looking at the League Cup as the opportunity to rotate his squad to build their fitness up for when the league campaign begins. 

Kranjcar played no part in the club's friendly with Charleston Battery last week, so Warburton arguably has little choice but to use the 31-year-old during the League Cup games, otherwise there would seemingly be little chance of the Croatian being ready for the league fixtures.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton celebrates at the end of the matchRangers manager Mark Warburton

However, that may not be a huge problem for the side. The group the Gers are in is hardly the most challenging, and so they should have little problem securing a top two spot. Thus, Warburton will feel confident that even if Kranjcar takes some time to shake off any rustiness, that lack of sharpness will do little to prevent the side's passage to the next round. 

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