Predicted Rangers XI to face Celtic: Big call in defence, does Aaron Ramsey start, Kemar Roofe decision

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst was given an unwelcome bit of team news earlier in the week when his main striker Alfredo Morelos was ruled out of this Sunday’s Old Firm clash with Celtic due to a thigh injury.

Filip Helander could play alongside Connor Goldson in Rangers' defence.
Filip Helander could play alongside Connor Goldson in Rangers' defence.

Morelos is likely to miss the next couple of weeks at least, robbing Van Bronckhorst of his most potent front-man.

The Colombian and attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi – out long-term with a knee problem – are the only two confirmed absentees for the cinch Premiership match at Ibrox, but the Dutch coach still has some major selection posers.

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Allan McGregor will almost certainly take his place in goal, with a back-four ahead of him. Captain James Tavernier and Calvin Bassey are likely to be at right and left-back respectively, with Connor Goldson marshalling the centre of defence. Who partners him is a big call for Van Bronckhorst. Leon Balogun played for Nigeria during the week and with Celtic likely to go with the physical Giorgios Giakoumakis in attack, Rangers may opt to play Filip Helander next to Goldson.

Kemar Roofe is expected to replace Alfredo Morelos in attack for Rangers.

The two sitting midfielders are expected to be Ryan Jack and Jon Lundstram, with Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo out on the flanks. Having been rested by Wales during the week, and surely brought in on loan for such occasions, Welsh attacking midfielder Aaron Ramsey is set to play in the No 10 role despite limited game-time for Rangers.

Morelos’ injury leaves a void in attack. Fashion Sakala tested positive for Covid during the international break and therefore unlikely to start, while Swiss hitman Cedric Itten appears out of the picture despite his loan recall from Greuther Furth. It will therefore be up to Kemar Roofe to lead the line in Morelos’ absence as Rangers try to bridge the three-point gap that currently exists between the two teams.

Probable Rangers team (4-2-3-1): McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Bassey; Jack, Lundstram; Aribo, Ramsey, Kent; Roofe.

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