Celtic might have the supremacy in the Premiership with a nine-point cushion, but the resurgence of Rangers under Michael Beale makes the upcoming Scottish League Cup final an intriguing watch. These two fierce rivals will lock horns at Hampden Park in an attempt to conquer the season’s first silverware.
Although the Gers are yet to defeat Celtic so far this campaign, the Ibrox contest back in January generated cautious optimism in the camp. A late goal from Kyogo Furuhashi denied them a victory, but the aggression and fearlessness exhibited on the pitch must drive the Light Blues on Sunday afternoon.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Ranges Lineup To Face Celtic
Rangers have been vulnerable between the sticks with Allan McGregor and Jon McLaughlin failing to impress enough despite extensive rotation. However, the 41-year-old McGregor is likely to get the nod for his profound experience in goal.
While the likes of Filip Helander, John Souttar and Ridvan Yilmaz are still recovering from long-term injury woes, Beale should stick with Connor Goldson and Ben Davies in deep defence along with Borna Barisic down the left-hand side of a stable ‘back four’. Skipper James Tavernier is in blistering form following a brace against Livingston. He must lead by example this weekend to shatter the Celts’ ‘treble’ dream. James Sands, as well as the young academy pair Leon King and Adam Devine, should be ready if called into action.
The Gers have received a massive boost with John Lundstram back in team training. He must return to the starting XI and partner with Glen Kamara as the double pivot. Nicolas Raskin, still settling down in the new surroundings, could be introduced as a substitute. Ryan Jack remains a fitness doubt, whereas Steven Davis and Scott Arfield are ruled out with their respective injury setbacks.
In-form Malik Tillman, who has recovered from a knock, must exhibit his mastery as a midfield attacker. Todd Cantwell is yet to exhibit his creative spark, but the promising winter recruit from Norwich City should occupy the right-hand flank ahead of Fashion Sakala. Ryan Kent, on the left, needs to step up his game to frustrate the Bhoys with his dribbles and directness. Scott Wright and Kemar Roofe might get involved as ‘super subs’ along with Sakala.
Alfredo Morelos has reclaimed his starting status high up the pitch. But the Colombian must not lose his cool in this high-voltage outing. Antonio Colak would continue as his understudy for the time being.