Rangers suffered heartbreak last season in the Europa League final. But they have bounced back exquisitely by qualifying for the Champions League group stages, defeating PSV in the playoff. The spirit is quite high within the camp, and the upcoming Old Firm derby at Celtic Park would be electric given their stellar run of form across competitions.
Meanwhile, Celtic have maintained an all-win record in their domestic games. Rangers are only a couple of points behind in the Premiership standings as they were denied a win against Hibernian following an array of controversial calls from the man in charge Willie Collum. Having said that, the Gers have shown enough grit, and the Saturday afternoon clash would not be a stroll in the park for the hosts despite demolishing Dundee United in their previous league outing.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Celtic
Although Allan McGregor was handed a start versus Queen of the South in a League Cup fixture, the new ‘number 1′ Jon McLaughlin should return between the sticks for this epic encounter. The Scotsman was in goal last season when they defeated the Celts in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.
Skipper James Tavernier must exhibit his attacking expertise with overlapping runs, one-twos and set-piece attributes. But he needs to focus on his defensive job against the Bhoys’ free-flowing football. Connor Goldson should anchor the show from deep defence and the versatile James Sands is expected to feature as a centre-half amid injuries to Ben Davies, John Souttar and Filip Helander. Although a bit inconsistent, Borna Barisic might cause problems from the left with his crosses and set-pieces.
John Lundstram would be the driving force from the centre of the pitch, thanks to his physicality, combative nature as well as tireless movements. Giovanni van Bronckhorst has tried out Glen Kamara, Steven Davis and Ryan Jack alongside the Englishman deep down the midfield, but the technicality of Kamara should be prioritized in this weekend tie. Davis could be deployed at a later stage, and so is Scott Arfield, who has been scintillating as a ‘super sub’ so far this campaign.
Tom Lawrence picked up a knock against Ross County a week ago. But the manager expects him to be fit for the Old Firm clash. The Welshman is likely to operate as a midfield attacker and his vision and creative spark should benefit Malik Tillman and Ryan Kent down the flanks.
Antonio Colak has been a revelation high up the pitch and the Croatian hitman has cemented a place as the first-choice ‘number 9’. Alfredo Morelos is still suspended after receiving marching orders against Hibs.