Rangers returned to the top tier of Scottish football last season following four years absence and they’ve now shaken off the darkest years to restore their glorious realm.
Their previous league meeting ended goalless at Celtic Park where the Gers lion-hearted display earned massive appraisals from the visiting crowd. Although Rangers are not on same level with Celtic in terms of quality as well as experience, but their winter signings have done the club a huge favour to recover the lost ground to some extent. The majority of the past boss Pedro Caixinha’s signings failed miserably at Ibrox but the arrivals of players in the likes of Sean Goss, Jamie Murphy and Russel Martin have enhanced the club’s quality as well as ability to compete with Celtic on different levels. The fans can demand a close contest when they face each other tonight as Rangers are rightly on track to close the gaps and reignite the title challenge from the next season onwards.
Murty has rediscovered success in recent months and the 4-2-3-1 setup is working fine in the implementation of his strategic moves. Murty’s is expected to retain the same and line his team up in a similar way against the mighty Brendan Rodgers’ men.
The Light Blues have a pretty consistent figure between the sticks in form of Wes Foderingham and the custodian will be protecting the goal against their Sunday counterparts.
Rangers have a few injury to worry about, particularly left-back Declan John who missed out a few games due to groin injury. John, however, is back in training and likely to be fit for the weekend encouter. James Tavernier will play in his usual right-back role whereas there might be a selection dilemma for Murty while selecting central defensive partner of Russel Martin. Young David Bates has done quite so good this season but the experience of veteran Bruno Alves might give him a nod in this epic derby outing.
Sean Goss, an on-loan midfielder from Queens Park Rangers, have been a brilliant option in Rangers midfield and is set to play from a central midfield role. Greg Docherty, the club’s winter signing from Hamilton Academical, has also done a decent job so far in absence of Graham Dorrans, Ryan Jack and Ross McCrorie. But Murty might prefer to start a more experienced Jason Holt in the middle of the park who might regain a starting role in the Old Firm derby.
Daniel Candeias is set to retain his right midfield slot whereas in-form Jamie Murphy is likely to return from his injury and occupy the left midfield role. Josh Windass has been shifted to the ‘number 10’ slot from the wide attacking role but has managed to maintain his scintillating run of form and is likely to trouble the Hoops backline on Sunday afternoon.
Alfredo Morelos, the young Colombian, will start as the lone striker but is going to get persistent support from Murphy, Candeias and Windass who will stride forward and cut inside to operate in advanced areas.