Steven Gerrard will have to dive deep into his Rangers first-team squad for the visit of Hearts at Ibrox tonight, with a number of key players unavailable.
Alfredo Morelos and Andy Halliday are both suspended for the clash, with Borna Barisic also unavailable through injury.
Ryan Kent has also been offered a two game ban which could rule him out if not contested by the Gers, although the club are likely to appeal, according to The Scottish Sun.
Gerrard is expecting a tough challenge from Craig Levein’s side and prior to the game has admitted the situation at left-back in particular is a bit of a problem.
As quoted by the official Rangers website, the Ibrox boss said:
We have played them a couple of times, and they have been aggressive and they have been positive. They came to Ibrox to try and win the game, and it was the same when we went to Tynecastle.
They are a big physical team that are aggressive, and I mean that in and out of possession. We had people watch their game against Aberdeen and they have threats within there and have a way of playing which is efficient.
So we expect a good Hearts team.
Of course, if you are missing two players in the same position, it is a bit of a concern. Thankfully, it is one area of the pitch where we have enough cover and enough options to cope without those two.
The situation means we may see a return for fringe player Jon Flanagan, who hasn’t featured at all since the Scottish Cup match against Cowdenbeath, his only appearance of 2019 so far.
He featured heavily in the first half of the season but Gerrard has since lost faith in the former Liverpool man.
It’ll be an interesting team selection with the other absences too. Will Jermain Defoe get a rare start? Will Glenn Middleton return to the team? Will Glen Kamara again get the nod?
All eyes are on that announcement tonight.
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