Steven Gerrard is expected to make a couple of changes to his starting XI when Rangers take on Celtic in the Scottish League Cup Final. The Gers manager has an almost fully-fit squad to select from as he hunts for his first silverware since taking over at Ibrox.
Rangers had been waiting on the fitness of left-back Borna Barisic, with the Croatian missing the 2-2 draw with Aberdeen on Wednesday night due to a foot injury.
However, the 27-year-old trained on Friday and has been included in the squad to face Celtic at Hampden Park.
Barisic is expected to replace Jon Flanagan in the starting XI, although their are also doubts over Jordan Jones and Steven Davis.
The experienced Allan McGregor is a certain pick in goal while Gerrard is expected to opt for consistency in central defence despite recent shaky performances.
“We have to win games, we have to win trophies. All the boys who have signed here have come to win trophies. We’re not here to be second best.
“It’s a great occasion for the fans and we want to win it for the fans. We have to do everything in our hands and go out there on Sunday looking to bring back some silverware.”
Ryan Jack is expected to line up in midfield while Davis should join the 27-year-old, if rumours of his fitness issues are inaccurate.
Glen Kamara could replace Joe Aribo, having been rested against Dons, while Ryan Kent will start on the left flank.
Scott Arfield was on target in midweek and is expected to get the nod on the right flank with Gerrard relying on the Canadian’s experience.
Finally, Alfredo Morelos will lead the line and hopes to open his account against Celtic – having failed to score in 10 previous games against the Hoops.
Jermain Defoe provides back-up off the bench while Greg Stewart, Sheyi Ojo and Andy Halliday will all be looking to feature in some capacity.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash, Gerrard says victory over their great rivals will give Rangers a huge lift ahead of a crucial second half of the season.
Gers can qualify for the knock-out stages of the Europa League next week while they are currently two points behind Celtic in the Scottish Premiership title race.
“It’s not about me and the trophies I’ve won during my career. This is about Rangers, the team and the players, and us having or giving ourselves the opportunity to win our first trophy together,” said Gerrard.
“The players deserve a certain level of credit for that, but now it’s about going and getting over the final hurdle, which will be the most difficult I’m sure. If we manage to do it, it will be a huge lift, most importantly for the supporters and the club.
“We’ve become better and we’re now competitive; we’ve shown on the European stage against high-level opposition that we can compete and win. Domestically, I think there’s more respect for Rangers now. Sunday gives us another chance to go and grab something.”
Rangers predicted line-up vs Celtic – Scottish League Cup final
(4-3-3): McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic; Jack, Davis, Kamara; Arfield, Kent, Morelos