Rangers will be without big money summer signing Filip Helander when they travel to Celtic Park on December 29th.
The Swedish defender, who joined from Bologna for £3.5million in July, hasn’t featured since this month’s Betfred Cup final meeting at Hampden Park when Christopher Jullien netted the winner.
Helander limped off in the closing stages at the National Stadium and was replaced by Nikola Katic – a player who would be a likely deputy in the derby at the end of the month.
STV reporter Raman Bhardwaj confirmed that Helander would miss between four and six weeks with a foot injury – ruling him out of the Parkhead clash.
Rangers defender Filip Helander out for 4-6 weeks. Foot injury
— Raman Bhardwaj (@STVRaman) December 19, 2019
Many would have relished seeing Helander at Celtic Park
Despite there still being big questions over the defender, most notably for his lack of pace, his exclusion from the derby clash will still be a real blow to Steven Gerrard’s men.
Helander had started 12 consecutive matches for the Gers prior to his Hampden injury. He also started all of his side’s first five Europa League group stage encounters – showing that he is a man who Gerrard trusts for the big occasion.
The news isn’t likely to mean too much to Odsonne Edouard who probably treats the Gers backline with the contempt they deserve. He has the ability to trouble any of their central-defenders – be it Helander, Connor Goldson or Nikola Katic.
Many Celtic supporters may actually be a little disappointed that the Swede is to miss the match. Lots would’ve relished Edouard going directly up against him, like we saw briefly in the Betfred Cup final.
But I guess we’ll all just have to settle for him rag dolling Katic instead.