Will Alfredo Morelos absence cost Rangers against Celtic or can Gio van Bronckhorst find the solution? Saturday Jury

It’s the biggest Old Firm since…probably the last one. Is it a must-win for Rangers?

David McCarthy : I think so. Even with a draw, Rangers would have to go to Parkhead and win, then hope Celtic slip up elsewhere as well given the goal difference situation. And Rangers would still have to win every game they play.

Andy Newport : It’s certainly a must not lose but even a draw would leave them requiring favors elsewhere given Celtic’s vastly superior goal difference. If they’re serious about retaining their title, they need to get the job done.

Fraser Wilson : It’s a must not lose. A three-point gap – basically four with the goal difference – would just about keep the race alive with another derby to go. Anything more would be curtains for Rangers.

Alfredo Morelos is out but Kyogo is back. Who should start up front for each side?

DM : I reckon Giorgos Giakoumakis will start, having been in fine form. It didn’t work with Kemar Roofe in for Morelos at Parkhead, so I wonder if Gio van Bronckhorst will tinker and use Aaron Ramsey as a ‘false nine’.

AN : Roofe is a more rounded frontman than Fashion Sakala so should get the nod for the home team. But I can’t see Kyogo coming straight back in for Celtic. Giakoumakis has been red hot lately but I think Daizen Maeda will get the nod.

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F.W. : Roofe is the obvious choice for Rangers. It would be high risk to throw Kyogo straight in and I reckon the form of Giakoumakis makes him a cert. He brings something different to the party for the Hoops.

The derby Down under is officially off. What do you make of the whole episode?

DM : Rangers were caught on the hop and allowed the ‘Ange Homecoming’ narrative with the Ibrox club as bit-part players. Fans were never going to accept that and that’s on the head of communications. He’s had a shocker.

AN : It’s been a mess from start to finish. The Ibrox board made a hash of reading the room, totally underestimating the strength of fan opposition to the game in Sydney, and could now be facing a hefty legal bill.

F.W. : Totally bizarre. To a neutral, it’s only a game that would make the club a lot of money. But the ferocity of the backlash is something Rangers should have expected… and avoided from the outset by not signing up.

Awards season is nearly upon us, who has been your top player of 2021/22?

DM : Callum McGregor for me with Craig Gordon pushing him all the way. McGregor’s influence on him on the Celtic team cannot be overstated and Gordon is just a phenomenal keeper having a phenomenal season.

AN : I’d have said it was a toss-up between Kyogo and Joe Aribo before Christmas. Now a head-to-head between Callum McGregor and James Tavernier for the top prize but I’ll defer my final call until after this weekend.

F.W. : Craig Gordon. His saves showreel at the end of this season would make for a stunning 90-minute feature film. He’s been incredible and a huge part of Hearts’ rise. What a story his career of him has been.


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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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