Rangers suffered late Europa League heartbreak against RB Leipzig despite a spirited show in Germany on Thursday night. All eyes would be on the return leg tie at Ibrox, however, the Gers’ immediate focus should be Sunday’s Old Firm derby given the fixture’s significance in the title hunt.
Celtic, meanwhile, are on the verge of reclaiming the Scottish crown after last season’s shambles. A win would ensure the silverware at Celtic Park, whereas the Light Blues should aim for all three points to take the race down to the wire. The Hoops have dominated this fixture in recent meetings until mid-April when Rangers knocked them out of the Scottish Cup semifinal. Having said that, it will be an uphill battle for the Gers given the fatigue as well as injury absence of first-team stars.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Celtic
Allan McGregor made some decent saves against Leipzig, but he could have done better in the previous derby meetings. Jon McLaughlin has mostly featured in the Cup contests and the gaffer Giovanni van Bronckhorst should restore him between the sticks, particularly after the Hampden Park victory a couple of weeks ago.
Rangers have a couple of casualties with Leon Balogun suspended and Filip Helander sidelined for the rest of the campaign. The ‘back four’, therefore, should remain unaltered on Sunday lunchtime. Calvin Bassey is likely to partner with Connor Goldson in deep defence whereas Borna Barisic and skipper James Tavernier must operate from the wide exhibiting their attacking expertise and defensive excellence.
Ryan Jack and John Lundstram have been impressive as the double pivot. The manager needs to protect the pair for the Leipzig fixture and the likes of Steven Davis and James Sands might make it to the starting XI. Glen Kamara, too, deserves some recovery time after a gruelling 90 minutes at Red Bull Arena.
Aaron Ramsey is yet to return to action after picking up an injury against the Bhoys. Scott Arfield should slot in as a right midfielder, whereas Joe Aribo is expected to continue as the advanced playmaker. Ryan Jack has been the standout performer with his pace and prowess down the left and the Gers would rely on the ex-Liverpool winger once again to cause menace in Celtic defence.
Alfredo Morelos is ruled out for the season and Kemar Roofe, his understudy, is also nursing a knee injury suffered against the Celts. Scott Wright failed to leave an impact as a ‘False 9’ versus the Bundesliga heavyweights and it remains to be seen whether Van Bronckhorst hands Fashion Sakala a start this weekend.