Rangers latest: Key man in line for return against Hearts

Borna Barisic could feature for Rangers against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday as Steven Gerrard targets top spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

The Croatian defender has been sidelined for the past eight weeks with a calf injury but the 26-year-old has recovered well and could get some game time in the capital.

Winger Ryan Kent will again sit the game out with a hamstring complaint but the on-loan Liverpool youngster is set to resume training next week.

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Long-term injured pair Graham Dorrans and Jamie Murphy, who are both nursing knee injuries, are Rangers’ only other absentees.

Steven Gerrard has close to a full squad for the trip to Edinburgh. Picture: Getty Images

Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley could start in the centre of defence alongside Connor Goldson, while Ovie Ejaria could be recalled to the midfield after being dropped for the Europa League Group G match with Villarreal.

Gerrard has admitted he would rather be contesting the Betfred Cup final at Hampden, but concedes that the chance to top the table, even if just briefly, is a great opportunity for his players.

Borna Barisic could feature against Hearts. Picture: SNS Group

He said: “We want to be competitive in every single game and Hearts is the next one. There is an opportunity to go top of the table because Celtic and Aberdeen play in the cup final.

“To be honest, I’d rather be in the cup final but it is what it is.

“We’re under no illusions that it will be a tough game. It’s an intense crowd which is close to the pitch.

“We’re on the back of a European night and it’s a really tough test for the players but we’re capable of getting the result we want.”

Provisional squad: Allan McGregor, James Tavernier, Borna Barisic, Jon Flanagan, Andy Halliday, Lee Wallace, Gareth McAuley, Nikola Katic, Connor Goldson, Joe Worrall, Ryan Jack, Lassana Coulibaly, Ross McCrorie, Ovie Ejaria, Scott Arfield, Jordan Rossiter, Glenn Middleton, Alfredo Morelos, Eros Grezda, Kyle Lafferty, Wes Foderingham.