Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side will be looking to get one over their fiercest rivals Celtic when they travel to Celtic Park to take on the champions this weekend. Unlike the home side, Rangers have been quite fortunate with their injury list, in that they haven’t lost any key names over the course of the international break. In fact, several players that were out injured are now on the verge of returning to full fitness. This is sure to come as a huge boost to Gerrard’s ambition for what promises to be a high-stakes encounter on Saturday.
The Ibrox club are coming into the tie on the back of a comfortable 2-0 win over Ross County last time out, before which they sealed their entrance to this season’s Europa League with an important victory against Turkish giants Galatasaray. The Hoops, on the other hand, were forced to leave it quite late in their win against St. Johnstone, with two goals from Leigh Griffiths and Patryk Klimala both coming in the final knockings of the tie. With just a point separating the two sides, a win for either team could prove to be a catastrophic situation for the other.
Jamaican striker Kemar Roofe was the biggest injury concern that Rangers had going into the international break, and it looks like the break came at the perfect time for the Jamaican. He is now said to be on the verge of a return, although starting in this tie could be pushing it. Joe Aribo is another player that is claimed to be close to making a return, but like Roofe, starting him for this tie must be considered a risk. Another injury scare that Rangers were handed was Croatian defender Borna Barisic. But, with the full-back having played a full ninety minutes on Wednesday, he should return to the starting eleven in time.
Here Is The Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup Vs Celtic:
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup Vs Celtic
The competition for the goalkeeping spot has been quite interesting at Rangers, as both Allan McGregor and Jon McLaughlin look to stake their claim on the role between the sticks. Despite this, expect the summer signing to start ahead of the veteran for this fixture. In front of him, expect Gerrard to bring Filip Helander back into the side in place of Leon Balogun. The combination of Helander and Connor Goldson worked extremely well for the Ibrox club, and there’s no need to change that. Borna Barisic and in-form skipper James Tavernier are likely to start in the wide roles.
This is where Gerrard now has several options to choose from, with the recent signing of Bongani Zungu from Amiens completed as well. Although the South African is likely to make the squad, it wouldn’t be the smartest move to give him his debut in this important match against Celtic. Instead, expect Gerrard to stick to the combination that has worked for them in the past. Ryan Jack’s return to fitness means that he is an assured starter, and former Arsenal man Glen Kamara could be deployed alongside the Scot.
Despite the options that Gerrard has at his disposal, this match could see the manager sticking to the tried and tested ways, as a defeat could end up having dire consequences. To this effect, expect Alfredo Morelos to start the tie as the main striker, even if Kemar Roofe is close to returning from injury. Scott Arfield has been one of their best players over the last few weeks, and he is sure to start in the number ten role as well. Ryan Kent’s inclusion on the left side is one that has never been under question, while Ianis Hagi could be given the nod over on the other side.
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