Rangers' Leon Balogun suffers injury as Celtic clash closes in

By David Walton

December 17, 2020

Rangers centre-back Leon Balogun had to come off with an injury knock last night just over two weeks before they face Celtic.

The Hoops are scheduled to go to Ibrox on January 2nd. As the time continues to fly, that’s only just over two weeks away.

Rangers have been fortunate this season as they’ve avoided any Covid-related and injury setbacks. But it looks as though that could change ahead of that tasty-looking Ibrox contest.

Belogun, signed in the summer from Brighton, took a blow to the face in a collision with a St Mirren player. Rangers would ultimately lose the game 3-2 and be knocked out of the Betfred Cup. However, they’ve now bee left sweating over Balogun’s availability.

Steven Gerrard commented on the injury post-match, saying the following in the Glasgow Times:

“He’s a bit dizzy. So we will analyse him over the next couple of days and take advice from the medical staff. Hopefully he can pull through. If not, we have Fil available again.”

Celtic must make presence felt in Govan

Neil Lennon, you can bet, won’t be taking any notice of this. Whatever team Gerrard puts out at Ibrox will be a strong one, regardless of whether you think they’re a good team or not.

However, in saying that, you can’t ignore what Balogun has brought to their side. Before last night, he had yet to be part of a Rangers defence who had conceded a domestic goal. Even in the Europa League he’s been part of three of their five clean sheets (Transfermarkt).

Leon Balogun had to come off for Rangers vs St Mirren with Celtic looming (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

We’re not here to big up the centre-back of course, but him missing would be a big blow for them. For now it remains to be seen if the injury stretches all the way to the Celtic match. Hoops fans won’t lose sleep if it doesn’t, but it would certainly – statistically anyway – be a set-back for our rivals.

Celtic still have four more matches before that date in Govan, but you can’t undermine the importance of it. It’s absolutely vital that we enforce our game on Gerrard’s side and make it a day to remember. The title race and 10-in-a-row is relying on it.

For now, we’ll keep an eye on whether Balogun is fit enough to play in it or not.

In other news, Celtic can’t be fooled by Hearts’ eerie Scottish Cup tactic.