Rangers (10/11 – SPL Outright Winner) manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst says he has no plans to take goalkeeper Allan McGregor out of his starting XI for Wednesday’s crucial Old Firm clash at Celtic.
Former Scotland international McGregor has come in for criticism after he was culpable for two Ross County goals in Saturday’s 3-3 draw, leading to calls for the keeper to be dropped for the trip to Celtic Park.
However, Van Bronckhorst, who is preparing for his first taste of an Old Firm derby as a manager, has backed the 40-year-old shot-stopper and insists no changes will be made in between the sticks.
“Allan is our number one and has saved us many times,” the manager said, as quoted by BBC Sport. “There were no discussions around taking him out of my team.”
Rangers have drawn two of their last three league matches and that has allowed Celtic, who are on a 13-game unbeaten streak across all competitions, to close the gap to the leaders to just two points.
The Gers are missing key striker Alfredo Morelos, who is away on international duty with Colombia, while Filip Helander remains sidelined and Ianis Hagi is out for the season after undergoing knee surgery.
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New signing Aaron Ramsey will not be available for selection following his loan move from Juventus as he lacks match fitness, while Polish right-back Mateusz Zukowski isn’t ready to play after also arriving on deadline day. There is some positive news for Van Bronckhorst, who can call upon the services of Leon Balogun after a two-game injury absence.
Celtic are also facing some selection issues with midfielder Tom Rogic ruled out after starting for Australia on Tuesday, while top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi, Albian Ajeti and David Turnbull remain absent with hamstring injuries.
Yosuke Ideguchi is still struggling with an ankle problem and is unlikely to feature while Nir Bitton is suspended after his red card in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Dundee United.
Captain Callum McGregor and striker Daizen Maeda could be welcomed back, but manager Ange Postecoglou revealed Maeda would not be ready to start and would only be named on the bench.
Celtic are winless in six league derbies, their longest such run since March 2000, although Rangers haven’t won a league match at Celtic Park as defending champions since October 2010 under Walter Smith.
The Hoops are 5/4 to pick up the win, while the draw is priced at 9/4 and the visitors are 23/10 to claim the spoils.
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