Celtic rivals facing midfield injury/suspension crisis for Glasgow Derby
Celtic could be facing a Rangers side suffering from some heavy midfield losses in this Sunday’s final Glasgow Derby match.
Rangers could go into the game with as many as three of their central midfielders missing. This comes due to a combination of injury knocks and suspensions that have struck their midfield area in particular.
Ryan Jack is sidelined and will be out for the rest of the season, whilst South African Bongani Zungu will miss out through suspension. But Rangers could also be missing Scott Arfield, who failed to recover in time for Sunday’s Scottish Cup defeat to St Johnstone [Daily Record]. An update on him has yet to be given.
That would leave the Ibrox club with an extremely weak-looking midfield of Steve Davis, Glen Kamara, and Joe Aribo. Whilst there is genuine ball-quality there, not one of them is a fan of the rough stuff. You wonder then whether Ismaila Soro would be the perfect option to boss the game on Sunday.
Rangers will also be rattled by a suspension to Nathan Patterson. Patterson featured against Celtic in the Scottish Cup. However, James Tavernier looks set to start in his place, and it’s fair to say he didn’t look comfortable against Saints at the weekend on his big return.
Celtic need to make their quality count in final Glasgow Derby
Should Celtic fail to beat Rangers on Sunday, it’ll be the first time we’ve gone through a full season without beating them since the John Barnes era. That alone would be unacceptable.
Then you have the fact this is the final chance for us to end their unbeaten league run. There’s another incentive as we look to finally land a blow on our rivals.
What’s been so confusing about these derbies of course is the fact that we’ve bossed so many of them this season. We’ve crated chance after chance in the last three matches against Rangers. Only our own profligacy has cost us, and that’s what needs to change this weekend.
But if Rangers are suffering from the same squad losses they had against St Johnstone, there’s an opportunity for Celtic to be aggressive. A chance to overwhelm the Ibrox engine room which is one that wouldn’t be suited to an aggressive, scrappy encounter.
It really is a contest that looks suited to Soro. He bossed it on his last start against Rangers back in January. His high-press, energy, and sharpness in the tackle was too much for Rangers to deal with. Why he hasn’t started in any of the two since is anybody’s guess.
Hopefully, should Rangers have to go with the above midfield trio, Celtic can exploit its clear deficiencies.