Despite frequent clashes throughout the season, an Old Firm derby between Celtic and Rangers never disappoints football fanatics across the globe. It’s a must-win game for the Gers though as they are nine points behind their bitter rivals who are marching towards successive Premiership crowns. It would be an uphill battle against the well-orchestrated Bhoys, that too at Parkhead where they grabbed a thumping 4-0 victory in a previous meeting earlier this campaign.
The Light Blues failed in the League Cup final just over a month ago when these two sides locked horns at Hampden Park. The Ibrox contest ended all square back in January thanks to a late equalizer from Kyogo Furuhashi and the Gers boss Michael Beale must demand a reaction from his men to stay relevant in the final lap.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Celtic
In spite of being at the twilight of an illustrious career, Allan McGregor remains the first-choice custodian ahead of fellow countrymen Jon McLaughlin and Robby McCrorie. It would be a busy outing for the 41-year-old, but he must showcase his excellence to keep the tie alive.
Skipper James Tavernier should lead by example once again with his tireless runs and set-piece traits. But the right fullback must balance his minutes between attack and defence. Borna Barisic is likely to get the nod over Ridvan Yilmaz down the left-hand side, also the central defensive pairing of Connor Goldson and Ben Davies needs to contain the lethal attacking trio of Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda and Filipe Jota. John Souttar might get some minutes at a later stage if the situation demands his involvement in the heart of the backline.
With Nicolas Raskin facing a race against time to be fit for the Celtic game, Michael Beale could rely on Ryan Jack and John Lundstram as ‘double pivot’ deep down the midfield. The latter showed some glimpses of his earlier self against Dundee United, but he must deliver a top-notch display to regain the fans’ trust for the remainder of the season.
Todd Cantwell is expected to operate from the right following a great run of form in recent fixtures. High-flying Malik Tillman must depict his mastery as a ‘number 10’ and the left midfield status belongs to Ryan Kent for his ability to create space and offer directness. Scott Wright, Scott Arfield and Fashion Sakala would inject more firepower and finesse as second-half substitutes.
Alfredo Morelos had his highs and lows over the years against the Celts and the gaffer must rely on the Colombian once more as the outright ‘number 9’. Antonio Colak might feature as a late substitute on Saturday afternoon.