Celtic will fancy their chances regardless of Rangers’ injuries this weekend, but they may very well be depleted regardless.
We’re not blind. We know that some supporters perhaps don’t really care about who starts for Rangers. After all, Celtic, on their day, should wipe the floor with any XI Rangers produce on Sunday.
But, for those who are interested in our rivals’ injury concerns, they seem to have a fair few ahead of this weekend’s Parkhead tussle.
The main problem for them is that they’re struggling with injuries to both Ryan Jack and Scott Arfield. Both of them have started the first two Glasgow derbies this season. They’re part of Steven Gerrard’s favourable midfield for this kind of fixture.
Celtic struggled against them back in December. It was a horrific performance from the Hoops midfield on the day, but it’s important to remember that Brendan Rodgers’ side were missing plenty of key performers of their own.
The Hoops managed to boss Jack and Arfield around Parkhead back in September. Olivier Ntcham and Scott Brown proved too classy a combination for Rangers on the day. It looks more likely that Callum McGregor will start over Ntcham, however, given he’s cemented his place as a key performer for Celtic this season.
Celtic must be confident in bossing the midfield
If Celtic are potentially up against a midfield of Glen Kamara and one of Steven Davis/Lassana Coulibaly/Ross McCrorie – our midfield should be rubbing their hands with excitement.
The other main problem Rangers have is at left-back. Borna Barisic came off for Croatia during the week with a knock. He’s therefore a doubt to face Celtic this weekend. His replacement, Andy Halliday, came off against Kilmarnock before the international break at half-time. Many Celtic supporters would love to see him in the Rangers team, but there’s yet to be confirmation of his availability too.
So as much as we may be worried about a couple of our own players, Rangers have a few concerns of their own.
Yes, we’re fully aware of the importance on focusing on ourselves. Neil Lennon will likely assume all four of these Rangers players are fit for Sunday. He has to, considering not one has been ruled out.
The injury situation for both sides should be clearer later on in the week. Both Lennon and Gerrard will take to their pressers and hopefully give some fresh team news.
But until then, it’s fair to say we’re not the only side heading into Sunday with some injury issues.