Rangers centre-back Filip Helander looks to be available to face Celtic on Sunday after playing 45 minutes in a development game yesterday.
The Ibrox defender has been out of action for three months, meaning that he hasn’t played a single game in 2020 (Transfermarkt).
However, he played the entire first half against Brentford in a bounce match yesterday. which suggests that he will indeed be ready to face us if Steven Gerrard picks him.
Helander was in the Rangers team that lost 1-0 to Celtic in the Betfred Cup final back in December. Therefore, he does have experience of losing in the fixture. He missed the 2-1 win for the Ibrox side at Parkhead towards the end of the year.
Rangers’ back-line has made a host of mistakes over the last few weeks too. The like of James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Nikola Katic, and George Edmundson have all been involved in ridiculous errors on an individual basis.
Players are always better when they’re out of the team
Yet, Rangers’ defensive woes will hardly be helped just by introducing Helander back to the team. The Swedish centre-back has seldom shown any level of quality since signing in the summer.
The fact he’s been out of action for three months would also be a boost for us if he played. The last thing a defender as slow as Helander needs is to be up against Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths on his return to action.
Celtic fans will be salivating at the prospect of any combination of Rangers defenders coming up against our top forwards. Not one looks capable of dealing with them, and Helander can be thrown into that category too.
In terms of his performance against us in the Betfred Cup final – it was nothing beyond average. A lot of the Rangers players did well in that one given how poor we were. However, after Edouard came on in the second half, he gave Helander and Goldson nightmares.
So there’s nothing to suggest that Helander is going to come straight into this fixture and impress. He won’t make a key difference in how the game pans out, and Celtic will hardly be sweating at the prospect of coming up against him.
He does, however, look fit and ready to go if selected by his manager.