Celtic v Rangers latest; Balogun back, Jack knacked but could make game

By Euan Davidson

December 26, 2020

Celtic fans will have the 2nd of January marked in their new calendars.

The trip to Ibrox would already come with plenty of intrigue, but Celtic absolutely need to avoid defeat in order to keep the pressure on Steven Gerrard’s men. “Fake news” or not, Rangers’ lead is considerable.

Gerrard, according to the Daily Record, will have defender Leon Balogun back in contention for our first match of 2021.

Midfielder Ryan Jack will be unavailable for today’s meeting with Hibs, but Balogun will likely make the bench against Jack Ross’ side.

Ryan Jack takes on Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

One eye on Celtic

Former Aberdeen captain Jack won’t be rushed back into Gerrard’s side. The Liverpool legend said:

“[Jack] has taken a little bit longer than we thought so that is just not clear at the moment.

“I don’t really want to rush that so he won’t be available for the next one.”

Clearly with an eye on the Celtic match, Gerrard will probably look to rest Jack and other key men where possible. Defenders Katic (Daily Record) and Balogun have been M.I.A in recent matches, but the latter looks to have dealt with a head knock.

Gerrard continued:

“Leon is fine.

“He could have come on on Wednesday night and he has done all the protocols in terms of getting a bang on your head.

“He is all clear to go.”

 

Lennon and Gerrard disagreed on the issue / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Warning signs for the Bhoys

Rangers will be looking to see off Hibs and maintain a temporary 16-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership (SPFL). Morelos may not be his usual self, but with Kemar Roofe banging the goals in (BBC), Gerrard has plenty of options.

They may have been dumped out of the Betfred Cup by St. Mirren, but they’re a side with internationals and plenty of experience.

Celtic have come into a good run of form with Ibrox clearly on Neil Lennon’s mind. Going into today’s trip to Hamilton, the Bhoys have beaten Lille, Kilmarnock, Hearts and Ross County.

Read our Scout Report on Hamilton Accies ahead of today’s meeting.