Rangers team v Celtic: No Aaron Ramsey, Alfredo Morelos mystery, here’s how Giovanni van Bronkhorst could line-up

Neither side can claim to be at full strength owing to international call-ups but, however, Wednesday is one of those days most keenly anticipated in the Scottish football calendar.

The Rangers manager did take the sting out of it, a little, by revealing new signing Aaron Ramsey wouldn’t be involved but he has plenty of options to take on Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side who have injury intrigue of their own and have cut the gap from six, to four, to two points in the space of a month.

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We look at the key areas of van Bronckhorst’s Rangers selection seeking to restore a sizeable advantage, or at least maintain the champions’ position at the top, and defend an unbeaten run at Parkhead stretching back to March 2019.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst gives instructions to James Tavernier. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Goalkeeper guarantee

Allan McGregor will start for Rangers – despite two slips against Ross County.

The 40-year-old made two uncharacteristic blunders in the Dingwall draw but van Bronckhorst was unequivocal when the position was broached at his pre-match press conference.

“I think Allan is still a great goalkeeper, he has saved us many times this season. It would be strange for me to get him out of the team after a game on Saturday.

Rangers line-up. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group)

“Allan turned 40 [on Monday] so he has all the experience to overcome this situation as well. There was no discussion to think about taking Allan out of the team.”

McGregor has played 36 Old Firm games in his two spells at the club and his continued presence will be warmly received especially after missing the previous win through covid protocols.

He’d expect to line up behind a settled defense despite the return of Leon Balogun from injury and a few shaky moments from Calvin Bassey against Ross County.

Miss Midfield

The manager also ruled Aaron Ramsey out of a debut baptism of fire which leaves veterans of this fixture to face the busy Reo Hatate and potentially, a masked Callum McGregor.

If Ramsey’s not ready then it’s fair to assume Ryan Jack won’t be either and it’s a tough ask for James Sands to be dropped into, or John Lundstram given his lack of significant game-time.

Joe Aribo is the first name on the Rangers team-sheet this season and will likely sit just ahead of Scott Arfield and Glen Kamara.

Arfield has the utilities to break play up and break the lines in attack combined with the engine to hassle Hatate while Kamara’s cool-head will be required in the all-Celtic atmosphere.

flying attack

Much has been made of Celtic’s options of flying Daizen Maeda and Tom Rogic back from national team duty to take part in the game – but Alfredo Morelos was, oddly or frustratingly, omitted from each of Colombia’s internationals – could he have made similar suggested representations for a quick getaway if not involved against Argentina? It’s unlikely, but this fixture rarely fails to surprise.

However, it’s more sensitive to assume Kemar Roofe – with two Old Firm goals last season – will lead Rangers’ attack, flanked by Ryan Kent and Amad Diallo, using their pace to fly down the wings for quick breakaways from Celtic’s high-press inside the Parkhead cauldron.

Predicted Rangers line-up: McGregor, Tavernier, Bassey, Goldson, Barisic, Arfield, Kamara, Aribo, Kent, Roofe, Amad.

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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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