Rangers have rebuilt momentum since the game resumed in Scotland following the winter break. They are yet to drop a point under Michael Beale, but the Englishman would undergo his first significant test in a few days’ time. The Gers will host Celtic on Monday afternoon to keep their title hopes alive.
Rangers were all over the place at Parkhead when the Hoops registered a thumping 4-0 victory back in September. The champions of Scotland are having a nine-point cushion at the top of the Premiership standings and the Light Blues, therefore, must secure a result at Ibrox to reclaim the coveted crown.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Celtic
Allan McGregor returned between the sticks versus Motherwell after missing the Ross Country tie due to illness. He remains the Gers ‘number 1’ ahead of Jon McLaughlin and Robby McCrorie. McLaughlin was in goal when these two sides locked horns at Celtic Park and the veteran Scotsman must avoid humiliation by delivering a resolute display from the last line of defence.
Connor Goldson has restored stability in the heart of the backline alongside Ben Davies. Both the centre-backs have been unlucky with injuries so far this season, but their calmness and composure might frustrate the Bhoys high up the pitch. Skipper James Tavernier must exhibit his excellence by making marauding runs and attacking contributions from the right-hand flank. Meanwhile, left fullback Borna Barisic marked his return with a couple of assists against the Well.
Beale is likely to stick with a ‘double pivot’ even though he has lost Steven Davis for the remainder of the season. He has ample options in the centre of the pitch, but the ‘number 6’ roles should be occupied by Ryan Jack and John Lundstram. Glen Kamara and James Sands could be introduced at a later stage as the alternate central midfield options.
Alex Lowry was handed a surprise start on Wednesday night and the youngster did extremely well to make his presence known in and around the attacking third. Yet the gaffer might drop him in favour of Fashion Sakala. The Zambian is enjoying a blistering run down the right, and so is Ryan Kent who looks more involved and purposeful from the left-hand flank. Malik Tillman, exquisite as a ‘number 10’, must keep on impressing with his flair and finesse. The likes of Scott Arfield, Scott Wright and Rabbi Matondo would offer creative spark as ‘super subs’ if deployed in the second half.
Although the gaffer expects to have Antonio Colak and Kemar Roofe back for the Old Firm clash, Alfredo Morelos should spearhead the attack after reviving his form and fitness in recent fixtures. But the Colombian must not respond to provocations in this heated battle.