6 big Rangers selection decisions for Gio van Bronckhorst as Celtic horror show sparks first choice rethink

Rangers clash with Hearts takes on added significance in the wake of the horror show against Celtic.

The champions were battered by their biggest rivals and dropped out of the top spot in the Premiership, and have to bounce back against the Jambos.

Gio van Bronckhorst had no fear of ringing the changes at half-time at Parkhead, and could go one step further against Robbie Neilson’s side.

The Dutchman could make a big statement to his dressing room after the lackluster display to kick-start momentum again.

With 14 games to go in the Scottish Premiership, Rangers need a jump start and the fringe men could be the answer for the Ibrox boss.

RecordSport takes a look at 6 players who could return to the XI against Hearts.

Ryan Jack

After a lengthy spell on the sidelines, the 29-year-old midfielder has stepped up his return to first-team football.

Jack wasn’t handed a start at Celtic Park, but after coming on at the break he was one of the few players from the Rangers team to walk away from Glasgow’s east end with pass marks.

It now comes down to the manager to make the call if he will be handed a start against Robbie Neilson’s men.

Glen Kamara was the anchor of the midfield that brought the title to Ibrox, but was sacrificed for Jack against Celtic. Will the Dutchman make the same decision on Sunday?

Leon Balogun

After leaking six goals in two games against Celtic and Ross County, Van Bronckhorst will be looking at how to reshape the backline.

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Leon Balogun is another who has been slowly making his return from injury, and could be thrown in against Hearts at the center of defence.

Borna Barisic endured a torrid time on derby day and that could see Calvin Bassey shifted out to the left-back slot.

Nigeria international Balogun would come in to fill the gap and steady the ship, like he did in the second period at Parkhead.

Fashion Sakala

Amad Diallo struggled to lay a glove on the Celtic defense in the first half, and that saw Van Bronckhorst turn to Fashion Sakala.

He looked lively on the right flank but couldn’t help Rangers to get on the scoresheet in a toothless attacking display.

Diallo comes with a massive pedigree after his move from Manchester United, but it could be a coin toss between the Old Trafford loanee and the Zambia cap.

Steve Davis

The veteran midfielder hasn’t had much game time under Van Bronckhorst since his Ibrox arrival having been hampered by injuries.

But now may be the time to turn to the experienced 37-year-old.

Davis has seen this movie and could be a key part in bouncing back from slipping out of top spot and a defeat at Celtic Park.

Scott Arfield, Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara all struggled in Glasgow’s east end and Davis could bring a calming influence to the starting XI.

Aaron Ramsay

He’s the big signing, but is Aaron Ramsey fit enough to start?

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Rangers fans are desperate to see the Juventus loanee make his first appearance for the club, and the Welshman could provide the lift they need after a brutal week.

The deadline day bombshell was tempered slightly when Gio van Bronckhorst revealed he wasn’t ready for the game against Celtic.

Ramsey will be desperate to provide his match fitness to both his boss and the support, and no doubt a lively Hearts central midfield partnership of Beni Baningime and Cammy Devlin will provide a tough test.

Alfred Morelos

The most noticeable absentee against Celtic was Alfredo Morelos.

Kemar Roofe led the line but struggled to hold the ball up and cause the new league leaders any problems.

Without a focal point and somebody to hold the ball up there was no attacking threat from the champions.

Having not made the squad for any of Colombia’s World Cup qualifiers, Morelos will be fresh and could be thrown straight back into the team.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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