Rangers switch their attention back to Premiership action this afternoon as they travel away from Ibrox to compete in the Old Firm derby.
The Gers come into the game six points behind their arch-rivals in the league table and can halve that deficit with a win at Parkhead.
Gio van Bronckhorst’s men lost 1-0 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday night in Germany and will be hoping to bounce back in this crucial domestic clash.
How many changes will the Dutchman make to the side from Thursday? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make three alterations to the team, with James Sands, Scott Arfield and Fashion Sakala all coming in.
Van Bronckhorst will be mindful of the busy schedule and the physical load that having three huge matches on the spin will put on the players. They played Leipzig away on Thursday and now face Celtic at Parkhead before hosting the Bundesliga outfit in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final next Thursday, which means that they have little time to rest between games.
With this in mind, the first change we are predicting is Ryan Jack to be rested and replaced by Sands. The USA international came on for the 30-year-old, who had run himself into the ground, at the Red Bull Arena earlier in the week, and he may now start alongside John Lundstram in the middle of the park.
Lundstram moving into midfield is also part of a formation switch from Van Bronckhorst, moving from a 5-3-2 to a 4-2-3-1. With this in mind, Ryan Kent will start on the left and Joe Aribo will go wide on the right, leaving a spot to fill in the number 10 position.
We are predicting that the experienced Scott Arfield will take up this role. The Canadian scored against Celtic in the last meeting between the two teams, the Gers’ Scottish Cup semi-final win at Easter, and this could put him into the manager’s thinking today.
Finally, Scott Wright should be axed in favor of Sakala. The former Aberdeen man was disappointing against Leipzig, with 53% passing accuracy and zero key passes, and he should be dropped to the bench this afternoon so that the Zambia international can start.
Journalist Josh Bunting recently dubbed the £8.3k-per-week gem a “hero” for his performance against Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final, and he must now be handed the number nine role for this clash.
AND in other news, 100% duels won: £18k-p/w Rangers “train” was outstanding against RB Leipzig…